As a general rule a police officer on an emergency call is required to exercise the care which a reasonable, prudent man would exercise in the discharge of official duties of a like nature under like circumstances. Comparing this standard of care to that required of a civilian driver, one finds not that a lesser degree of care is required of the police officer but that the care exercised must be commensurate with the circumstances. The ordinary driver under ordinary circumstances uniformly has the duty to exercise ordinary care toward other travelers to avoid injury or property damage. The police officer, however, due to the exigencies of an emergency may take risks, particularly as to the speed of travel, which, if undertaken by the ordinary driver, would amount to negligence.
Harvey S. Morrison, Negligent Operation of a Police Vehicle, 16 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 442 (1967)