Police Chiefs & PursuitSAFETY to meet in Chicago

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   Volume 7       October 18, 2011       A National Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization

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We Thank Our Donors  &  Family and Friends of Kristin Saragusa
Dear Mark,

Welcome to all of our new readers. It is wonderful to have you on board!


While reading this newsletter, you will learn the latest news about Voices Insisting on PursuitSAFETY and our Safer Way Award. We need the Safer Way Award program because drivers who flee from the police do not care about my family’s safety, your family’s safety, or for the safety of police officers. We know this award program will save lives. I thank Police Chief Richard Schardan and the Highway Safety Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police for their support of this award. This issue also includes yet another “chapter” of the Christopher Cooper story. PursuitSAFETY is taking a stance to make sure that the driver responsible for Christopher’s death stays in prison. PurusitSAFETY representatives and I will stand beside Christopher’s mother, Cheryl Cooper, at yet another hearing in a Missouri courtroom.
Working for a safer way,

Candy Priano, Executive Direcctor


Police Chiefs’ International Conference
Risk vs. Reward and PursuitSAFETY’s Safer Way Award on Agenda


Chicago–Police Chief Richard Schardan, Maryville, IL, will give his presentation “Police Pursuit Policy and Practice: Risk vs. Reward” at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference Sunday, Oct. 23, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., McCormick Place, Room W192ABC, Chicago.

Chief Richard Schardan headshot
Police Chief

Richard Schardan


Chief Schardan serves on PursuitSAFETY’s Professional Advisory Board and is the administrator of our Safer Way Award program.


This workshop will reinforce the ethical aspects of vehicle pursuits and address the need to reverse the dangerous trend of current police driving behaviors. Participants receive practical recommendations/tools for creating or revising pursuit/response driving policies.

During his presentation, Chief Schardan will represent PursuitSAFETY by sharing these news clips and testimonies:
  • PursuitSAFETY’s spokesperson Glenn Morshower’s video clip about
    Risk vs. Reward
  • Jon Farris’ news clips about the death of his son Paul in Massachusetts
  • A KSDK news story about Jessica and Kelli Uhl, who were killed by a speeding Illinois State Trooper, and comments from Kim Schlau, Jessica and Kelli’s mother
  • David and Brenda Ehrensperger of Alabama talk about their son Steven who was killed when an officer responding to a burglary call crashed into his car
  • A John Walsh clip about the death of innocent bystander Kristie Priano, featuring pictures and video of Kristie and comments by her parents Mark and Candy Priano of California.
Candy Priano

Naming opportunity for sponsoring 


Earl M. Sweeney, chair of the IACP Highway Safety Committee and assistant commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Safety, invited PursuitSAFETY’s executive director, Candy Priano, to speak about the Safer Way Award during the Highway Safety Committee meeting in Chicago. This committee will judge the nominees for the 2012 Safer Way Award.
Drivers fleeing from the police are a regular feature for local and national news outlets. Yet, police officers are rarely acknowledged when they apprehend known flight risks by using other resources and methods. PursuitSAFETY’s goal is to correct this oversight.”The Safer Way Award honors officers and is needed because drivers who flee from the police do not care about anyone’s safety,” Priano said. “I will speak about innocent victims and police officers killed or injured as a result of drivers fleeing from the police. The focus of my presentation is promoting our Safer Wsaferwayay Awardand PursuitSAFETY’s efforts in finding sponsorship for an all-expense paid Safer Way Officers’ Training Day.”In April 2011, the organization gave its first Safer Way Award to the St. Louis County Police Department. Their pursuit policy does not allow chases for property crimes which do not involve violence. Two detectives developed a plan to catch thieves who were breaking into cars at a rest stop. These officers were successful. They apprehended the suspects without a chase. Click here to watch the April presentation of this award and to download the 2012 nomination form. You can use email or the U.S. Mail to send your completed nomination form(s) to Chief Schardan.

The PursuitSAFETY Safer Way Award will set another standard of professionalism for police officers. Crashes to recover stolen vehicles taken without violence are the number one reason for deaths of innocent bystanders. Trained officers can use other resources and technologies to bring about the capture of these–as well as other known–suspects. Life is precious, unlike a piece of property. Children, mothers and fathers, grandparents–our loved ones–are not replaceable.

Supporters of the PursuitSAFETY Safer Way Award say it is another way to publicize that officers can and do catch drivers who flee without the chase.

PursuitSAFETY seeks a sponsor for the Safer Way Officers’ Training Day. A $25,000 donation with a naming opportunity will provide the winning law enforcement agency with a paid officers’ training day that includes instruction by certified Emergency Vehicle Operating Course (EVOC) instructors, simulation-based driver training, a keynote speaker, and information about the need for officers to “Click It” (wear a seat belt). Businesses and individuals may support the Safer Way Award program through tax-deductible donations. 

For more information, contact Candy Priano at 530-343-9754 or candy.priano@pursuitsafety.org.ChrisCooper

Taking a Stance Against Convicted Felon

Continuances mean we stick together and fight harder

Hearing re-scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. 


Christopher Cooper
Christopher Cooper

Independence, MO–Continuances for a Post Conviction Relief Hearing will not stop family and friends of Christopher Cooper or PursuitSAFETY from seeking justice. Judge Jack Grate, Jackson County Circuit Court, Division 17, granted a fifth continuance to convicted felon Wilfredo Pujols, Jr. Pujols wants his guilty plea and 15-year sentence thrown out. Judge Grate could have denied this hearing altogether. Now, Christopher’s family waits.


“Trying to prepare ourselves once again to face the person responsible for Christopher’s death takes an emotional toll on all of us who love Chris,” Cheryl Cooper said. “I have to steel myself for it, only to learn that the hearing is postponed again.”


While fleeing from the Independence police, Pujols struck and killed Christopher, 17, an innocent bystander, in 2007. In regard to the recent hearing, Judge Grate, said, “No more continuances” when he scheduled the hearing for July 28. Yet, Judge Grate granted his fifth continuance on July 27.


On behalf of PursuitSAFETY, executive director Candy Priano will attend the November 18th hearing. She was at the Sacramento Airport July 27th, ready to check in for her flight to Independence, when she received the call that Judge Grate issued another continuance. If you live in or near Independence, we look forward to seeing you at the November 18, 2011, hearing. Press release.   video


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Every Six Weeks…

The violent crashes that end vehicular police pursuits and response calls,

on average, kill 30 innocent bystanders and
one officer every six weeks.

We are a 501(c)(3) … your donation is tax-deductible.

All non-profits need financial support and PursuitSAFETY is no exception. When considering a tax-deductible gift to a charitable organization, please put PursuitSAFETY at the top of your list. PursuitSAFETY’s Governing Board and Professional Advisory Board members do not receive compensation. This practice allows us to use your tax-deductible, life-saving donation to fund our programs. Learn more about our programs and read our annual reports at the link below.

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Send Us Your News and Video Clips  

Your news is important to us. Please send your written, ready-to-be published announcements and news stories for our publications and our website, pursuitsafety.org. Send completed articles and video clips to candy.priano@pursuitsafety.org.