FDL County Pursuits Up 20% Compared To 2020

The most recent high-speed pursuit in Fond du Lac County marked the 24th pursuit of the year. In fact, pursuits by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department are up 20% compared to 2020, and are the highest number of pursuits in the past five years.

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt tells KFIZ News there are a number of factors that figure into the high number of pursuits.

“Two factors really seem to be driving these chases in the last couple years.  The first is just the general “I don’t have to listen to you” attitude that is becoming more commonplace with some in society in general, whether it’s students at school who don’t listen to their teacher or criminal suspects who don’t listen to an officer’s/deputy’s lawful commands to do something, including pull over when the lights and siren turn on behind you.  The second is the “no pursuit policy” that some agencies have.  Criminals don’t operate in jurisdictional boundaries, so when they commit a crime in one jurisdiction with a no pursuit policy where they know all they have to do is not stop and the officer behind them will discontinue chase, they assume that policy is in effect elsewhere.”

Sheriff Waldschmidt also told KFIZ “We don’t have a no pursuit policy, and have come across many suspects who told us after apprehension they thought we were supposed to discontinue chase if they didn’t stop.”

Waldschmidt said there’s a time and place where they will terminate pursuits (like earlier in the week when the danger to the public created by the chase outweighs the danger the suspect poses if the pursuit is terminated and they get away), but that the Sheriff’s Department does not have a blanket “no pursuit” policy and that he doesn’t plan on implementing one at this point.

The totals for the past 5 years and pursuits within each of those years looks like this:

2021 YTD – 24

2020 – 20

2019 – 13

2018 – 18

2017 – 8