[quote="SMHW, post:1, topic:302724"]
If the police find out that a suspect for a serious felony, say murder or embezzlement, is attending Mass do you think they should they come in during the Mass and arrest him/her or try to keep tabs on the suspect and wait to make the arrest afterward? It would obviously cause some commotion during the Mass if the rest of the congregations sees what is going on.
Obviously the police have to weigh factors like whether or not the suspect is considered armed and dangerous, whether the suspect is a flight risk., and how long they have been searching for the suspect.
Do you have a specific reason for posing this question or is it just a product of your imagination?
I don't think there's an absolute right or wrong answer. If the criminal was known to the police to be attending Mass they could keep the church under surveillance and watch all possible exits from the church. It might even be possible for several plain clothes officers to arrest the suspect quietly as he or she leaves he church.
To go ito the church with the aim of arresting the suspect could cause problems. The suspect may be armed and take a hostage. So, I think waiting outside the church would be better.
If they were pursuing someone who ran into a church it would depend on the circumstances. If the person was armed they may need to enter the church to protect people. Alternatively, entering the church may place people in danger.
From TV programmes I have watched about the police it appears they prefer to take an approach that keeps the criminal as calm as possible and which does not make them take excessive risks to make good their escape.
Another advantage to the police not entering the church and keeping the situation as low key as possible is that if they entered the church to affect an arrest they may panic people. This could make the situation worse and far harder to manage.
I would suggest that each and every situation would need to be judged on its merits.