Shoshone Police Chief talks about car chase which totaled his cruiser

Chief Austin Smith tells KMVT they happened to be in the area training when they heard the calls.
Chief Austin Smith tells KMVT they happened to be in the area training when they heard the calls.(KMVT)
Published: Oct. 18, 2019 at 6:08 PM MDT
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Shoshone Police Chief Austin Smith is talking about how the Shoshone Police Department got involved in two police chases earlier this week, including one where his patrol car was totaled.

The police department happened to be training in Hagerman at Shaw’s Shooting, when they heard the call for additional units.

"We teach our guys and we train our guys to expect the unexpected. We never know, you know things can change in the blink of an eye, so we try to train for that and luckily our guys were prepared, we were here in the area, and were able to help, which is ultimately the best thing that could happen,” Smith said.

The chase Tuesday ended with the suspect dying, with Wednesday’s chase ending in minor injuries, as well as the loss of Smith’s police cruiser.

“Right as we were heading home, the pursuit kicked off and got on the interstate, and again they knew we were in the area so they asked for our help. And unfortunately the end result was my car getting totaled. But the silver lining in it is he went to jail, without any civilians getting hurt, so that's the best thing that could happen to anybody,” Smith explained.

Another silver lining was that Smith's K9 partner Eros was at home, rather than in the car.

“I left him at home this week, and I'm very thankful that I did, because had I not, it could have ended much differently. Granted, I've been doing this job for long enough and I've been in enough pursuits that had he been with me, I would have got him out the car, but again, anything could happen, I'm just glad he wasn't with me,” Smith stated.

However, there is one thing that hurts.

“You guys covered a story where we rallied the entire community together and were able to put donations together and get my vehicle outfitted for our K9 program, we got the heat alarm system put in, the fans, to door popper, and that stuff was ruined in this. But for me that's what hurts the most is you know, all of these amazing people from our community came together and gave us donations out of their hard earned money, and this is what the end result is, it's a hard pill to swallow,” Smith said.

The police department is insured through a program called ICrimp or the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program, which should cover the expenses for a new cruiser.

It may also cover the costs for the K9 heat alarm, but if it doesn't Smith says he hopes they are able to file restitution with the driver to cover the costs of a new one.