AUBURN — For Auburn police, Friday’s guilty verdict was about more than a man being punished for his crimes. With Bartolo Ford going to prison, police believe the community may be a safer place.

“Mr. Ford was determined to evade the police, regardless of the cost,” Chief Phil Crowell said Friday of the spree back in November 2008. “He put the lives of our community and of the officers in jeopardy.”

Crowell said the jury likely benefited from seeing video of the night Ford went on a rampage, ramming two police cruisers in an attempt to flee. Early in the trial, the prosecution showed the footage from the cruiser-mounted cameras.

“They got to see what our officers saw that night,” Crowell said.

In the weeks and months that followed Ford’s rampage, Crowell said he and other senior officers reviewed their policies in regard to procedure, training and equipment. They ultimately found that no changes to those polices were needed. In fact, Crowell said, it was training that helped the officers respond to Ford’s aggression in a way that may have saved the lives of the officers.

“All of the officers involved demonstrated the high level of training and skills which they possess,” the chief said, “and I am proud of the service they provide to our citizens.”

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