Liability Illustrated After 1993

After 1993, new spike systems were introduced. The new products promised quicker deployment and ease of use.

target avoid spikesIndividual deployment was a new deployment style where spikes were deployed without a cord attached and tethered to the officer. Officers would deploy the spikes into the path of the target. The pursuit Officers would drive around the spikes. The deployment officer(s) would then re-enter the roadway to clear the spikes off the road.

Deployment Risk (Individual Deployment)
Since the officer could not predict where to deploy, he was more effective to wait and target the car at point blank range. Another tactic was to use a patrol car as a road block and deploy into the adjacent lane to funnel the target vehicle over the spikes. These new deployment styles started a dangerous trend in spike deployment.

Officer_Retrieves_spikesRecovery Risk #2.  Tethered System versus secured system

A spike system not tethered to a cord and in the traffic lanes is an unsecured system. Unsecured systems is the primary cause of incidents where deployment officers have been struck by fellow officers while clearing the spikes out of the roadway.

Circumvention Risk #3. Unsecured System versus secured system

The unsecured system is the primary cause for drivers avoiding spikes and losing control of vehicles. Since systems were deployed without a cord, officers were taught to go around the spikes to avoid tire deflation. Most often the spikes were scattered and this created to the confusion.

The result of the ’93 deployment tactics.

The police tool which had such a perfect record, was on its way to developing a questionable reputation. Many in Law enforcement adopted the “quick and simple” deployment methods over the old style systems and tactics. The first of a series of incidents with tire spikes began and they all could be categorized in these three areas.

1) Deployment incidents

2) Recovery incidents

3) Circumvention incidents

In the tab labeled Liability 96, we define the changes made, and why these changes had little effect, such that, the FBI placed a Safety advisory on the use of Spikes.

Trooper Kilgrows design and operation proved to be safer, however as the training and procedures changed, they would effect the way kilgrow’s and all other brands of spikes were used. Bad tactics, were in reality short cuts, that were adopted by many agencies’.