I don't know how it works everywhere but when I lived in Washington state they would follow bikes from a distance but normal car pursuit activities like pushing off the road or spike strips was considered deadly force with a motorcycle rider, which is why they wouldn't do that except in the most extreme cases. So to de-escalate they did not chase, since they were not allowed to catch.
Police in this country started as a means to control and recapture slaves, so they certainly had a pretty tainted start. Just like any large organization their unofficial mandate has clearly become to serve and protect their own interests, which has become a real problem as far as the lengths cops will go to to protect their own, even when it is well known they were in the wrong. Outside of those major issues, unless you have a fire the police are who you get when you need help with just about any emergency.
Police are the given the power of life and death by the state, and are trained in enforcement of laws, often by violent means. Police are the social hammer, and as the saying goes when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
As far as the defund the police movement, I am sure some would like to completely remove any sort of law enforcement agency, but it was my understanding the majority were looking to shrink police budgets in order to grow other public services budgets in order to take care of emergency situations police are not equipped to handle.
A good example of this is what happens when someone threatens to harm themselves? If you call 911 worried about a loved one, do we get some sort of trained therapist show up? Nope you get police prepared to answer a teetering delicate glass vase issue with a hammer, and the result is often far worse than not having anyone come help at all.
Even many police will admit they are put into far more situations than what they are trained for and equipped to deal with. The argument is just what sort of additional services are needed, and where the funding will come from.