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processed by IntelliTune on 26122012 155655 with script _New Nice Image-CTP
AZTEC — The Aztec officer whose pursuit of a suspected drunken driver ended when the driver crashed into a power box disabling a stop light has resigned from the force.

Ram Jarzyniecki is no longer with the Aztec police, Capt. Troy Morris said Thursday.

Nonetheless, the police department is preparing to review Jarzyniecki's Dec. 23 pursuit of Kenosha Long, 24.

At first glance, Morris said the former officer's decision to chase Long was a bad one.

A review of the camera in Jarzyniecki's patrol car shows the short chase reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour within Aztec city limits, Morris said.

The chase started near the intersection of Baird Street and U.S. 550 and ended when Brown crashed at the intersection of Light Plant Road and U.S. 550.

The stop light at the intersection was fixed on Thursday.

Long and Jarzyniecki passed one driver who pulled off the road as they sped by. There were several drivers who were traveling east on the other side of the highway during the high-speed chase.

"When you're dealing with DWI, you already have an impaired driver. And you push them to go over 100 miles per hour? That's not a good policy," Morris said.

Jarzyniecki was parked in the median of U.S. 550 at 1:30 a.m. when Long drove by at high speed. He pulled her over on Baird Street and talked to her for several minutes. When he started to walk back to his patrol car she fled and the officer immediately gave chase.


Long had two passengers in her car during the chase. One of the passengers suffered minor injuries, Morris said.

Long was booked into jail. Two hours after the crash, her blood alcohol content was .16, twice the legal limit for driving.

She was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving on a revoked license, resisting and evading arrest and driving with an open alcohol container.

Morris said Aztec police will still review the pursuit to use as a teaching tool for other officers.

Jarzyniecki was introduced as a new Aztec police officer in an August 2011 City of Aztec Commission Meeting, according to city records.

Whether or not to pursue a suspected drunken driver can be a difficult decision for officers, said Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy. If possible, Farmington officers are supposed to check with their on-duty supervisors before chasing after a suspect.

"It's a touchy subject. Different agencies have different opinions," he said.

The officer and supervisor consider time of day, probable cause, road conditions, and safety for drivers, police and the suspect before giving chase, he said.

Though Farmington police and the sheriff's office have nabbed suspected drunken drivers after late-night pursuits in recent months, Tracy said police often back off of suspects when conditions become dangerous.

"DWI is a definite risk. And it is considered an imminent threat," he said. "However, we put a lot of emphasis on our officers that continuing a pursuit doesn't put anyone at risk."