The PIT maneuver – short for Precision Intervention/Immobilization Technique – is intentional controlled contact designed to send the suspect’s vehicle into a tailspin, thus ending the pursuit. When executed correctly, it’s one of the safest and most effective ways to end a pursuit, but this deceptively simple maneuver requires precision and training.
As PoliceOne columnist Travis Yates writes, “This is a tactic where the police touch their car to the back quarter panel of the violator. Once that occurs, the officer can turn into the suspect car and accelerate, which causes a loss of tire traction. In 90 percent of the cases, the engine will shut down, stopping the pursuit.”
So how well do you know the PIT maneuver? Check out these videos for training tips and to see the PIT in action:
1. 30-second PIT training video (0:34)
This half-minute video by the West Des Moines, Iowa, PD shows PIT demonstrations on a closed course.
2. TV journalist films pursuit-ending PIT (0:14)
A Gahanna, Ohio, officer expertly executes a PIT in traffic and pins the suspect driver in the vehicle.
3. Idaho State Patrol PIT training video (1:57)
This two-minute training video shows multiple angles with step-by-step narration and safety tips.
4. Citizen joins police chase and attempts a PIT (1:10)
Body cam video from a Utah officer shows the initial suspect vehicle emitting sparks, then a white pickup truck passes pursuing officers and rams the suspect vehicle from the side, shoving it into oncoming traffic. The initial suspect surrendered, and this second driver was booked on charges of interfering with an arrest and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
5. Master of the PIT (4:20)
Dash cam footage from a Georgia sheriff’s deputy demonstrates the PIT maneuver three times at speeds up to 110 mph in a clip from CourtTV (now Tru TV). The officer points out the minimal damage to his cruiser at 1:45.
6. Georgia police stop a pickup truck with a PIT maneuver (7:01)
Dash cam video from Albany, Georgia shows pursuit of an armed robbery suspect fleeing in a pickup truck, expertly stopped with a PIT maneuver by a cruiser.