Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Higgins, George E.

Committee Member

Andreescu, Viviana

Committee Member

Vito, Gennaro F.

Committee Member

Richards, George

Author's Keywords

pursuits; collisions; injuries; police pursuits; vehicular pursuits; pursuit-related collisions and injuries


This study investigates the trends in vehicular pursuits conducted by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) over time (i.e., years 2009 - 2017). Additionally, predictors for collisions and injuries were examined. The issues surrounding vehicular pursuits center on officer safety and agency liability concerns with the most significant of these being collisions and injuries. This study contains several primary areas. Chapter two includes a review of the literature surrounding the area of vehicular pursuits. Specifically, it reviews definitions pertinent to this study, legal aspects concerning pursuits, major empirical studies conducted on pursuits and specific risks associated with pursuit practices. This section was utilized to develop the themes for analysis. Chapter three covered the methodology for this study. In this chapter, the measures for analysis were presented and the analysis plan was thoroughly explained. The analysis plan involved three steps: Step 1: Descriptive Statistics; Step 2: Trend Analysis and Step 3: Logistic Regressions. The trend analysis employs a Bayesian process utilized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This process is used to examine risk behaviors over time and was ideal for conducting the type of analysis required for this study. Chapters 4 presents the results of this study. The results indicate an upward trend in pursuit-related collisions and injuries between 2009 and 2017. The results determined that pursuits involving three or more units had the potential to increase the likelihood of collisions while the use of tire deflation devices was found to decrease the risk of collisions. No predictors were found significant for injuries. Chapter 5 contains the discussion, policy recommendations, study limitations, recommendations for future studies and conclusions. The policy recommendations should be generalizable across law enforcement agencies of similar disposition to the KSP. Recommendations are presented in the areas of intervention techniques, pursuit policy development, compliance with pursuit policy, and the development of pursuit training programs. Lastly, this study concludes with limitations and conclusions which focus on suggestions for improvement and provisions for making any future studies conducted on KSP pursuit data more robust.