Stop Sticks: A look at the controversial police tool

(FOX19) - High speed pursuits are dangerous and can sometimes result in injury or death. This was the case Tuesday when Middletown Police used stop sticks to halt a speeding vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle died, and the passenger remains in serious condition.

"You have to target the tires on a fast-moving vehicle, so they're not going to work every time you deploy them," explained Capt. Douglas Wiesman with the Cincinnati Police Department.

Over the last two years, the Cincinnati Police Department has been involved in 13 pursuits. Stop sticks were used in five of those pursuits, but only effective in three of those instances.

"We are not saying that in every single pursuit to deploy stop sticks. We want it to end and want it to end safely, but use the tool in safe situations," said Wiesman.

Warren County is home to one of the most high profile cases of a stop stick deployment gone wrong. In 2011, Sgt. Brian Dulle was killed while attempting to deploy stop sticks.

Warren County officials say so far in 2013, they have been involved in eight vehicle pursuits, and stop sticks were deployed in three of those pursuits.

In all three of those cases, the drivers crashed after hitting the stop sticks or after trying to swerve around the device. Injuries were reported in two of those cases.

Several years ago, the Cincinnati Police Department changed its policy to no longer deploy them on the interstate. They changed that policy as a result of an officer being hit.

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