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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/20/2002 5:02:04 AM EDT
Where do you, as an officer, feel is the safest place to conduct your traffic stop? Should you sit inside of your vehicle or stand outside? Do you call the driver out of the car or leave him sitting inside of the vehicle. I would like to hear responses from active duty LEOs, as I am looking for what is specifically being used in the field or taught at the academies, and not public opinion on what should be done. We recently had a tragic event in which two of our midnight officers were standing behind their patrol car conducting a traffic stop when a drunk driver slammed into the rear end of the patrol car. Both officers were critically injured, one having his leg amputated. There have been other incidents in which officers, mostly working night shifts, have been rear ended by drunk drivers while conducting traffic stops. One of our troopers was burned alive, trapped inside of his Crown Vic, when he was rear ended by a DUI. Our department has placed yellow deck lights on the rear dash of our cars in an attempt to divert a driver’s attention away from focusing-in on the overhead lights. Where do you as officers conduct your stops and why? You all take good care! TroDog
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 6:32:28 AM EDT
Great question!! Looking forward to hearing from other people here. I usually pull straight in behind the violator vehicle and then cant my wheels all the way to the left. I usually contact the driver from the driver's side since I make a lot of DWI arrests(enables me to smell for the presence of alcohol). However, if they are too far out in traffic or I feel uncomfortable then I approach from the passenger side. I then walk between the two cars and go to the passenger side of my car and run the driver from there. If I plan to write him/her I also write from there. If I feel really uncomfortable then I try to run their DL from my right rear bumper(sometimes my portable doesn't reach so I may have no choice). We back each other up on almost all stops so I rarely have to be there long by myself. I like them to remain in the car since I feel I can better control them there. And if they get out I know that they either don't listen or are up to something. I also use the takedowns and my spotlight to do as much as possible to give me an advantage. I like one officer to pay attention to the car and one to pay attention to traffic. Of course it doesn't always work that way!! If I do pull the driver out, I take him/her to the rear of my patrol car since my light bar emmits less light there. It also adds a little confusion to the passengers if there are any. I occasionally give them ticket(s) when they are outside but usually while they are still seated inside their car.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:18:58 AM EDT
I'm retired now, but here's a short list for you from my time on the road: 1) Never walk between your vehicle and the violator's, especially at night. You will be backlighted as you do it and the violator will know where you are. Also, he could throw his vehicle in reverse and pinch you in between the vehicles. Walk around the back of your vehicle and approach on the right if traffic is to the left or approach down the left side if the traffic is to the right. 2) Make your approach on the non-traffic side. Have you seen the sideswiped officer videos? 3) Leave the violator in his car unless there is a good reason to get him out of it. 4) Once he's out of the car, don't let him go back in without close supervision, especially if getting back in is his idea. 5) Never conduct business with a violator between vehicles on the side of a road. Yes, I know. You want the contact on video. Well, I like my legs and don't particularly like the idea of a cop and violator car sandwich. Do FST's in front of HIS vehicle. Extra mass for another drunk's car to move if your car gets hit 6) Four-way flashers to the rear at night when off the roadway, overhead or blue/amber deck lights when in a traffic lane only. Drunks home in on overheads and amber deck lights. 7) Write your cite standing behind the open non-traffic-side door of your vehicle. If you're next to a guardrail and you can stand on the non-traffic side of it and still maintain control of the stop, do it. It's safer. Don't sit down in your vehicle to write a cite, even if the weather is bad. 8) On night stops, use all of your bright white light to illumunate the violator's car. 9) You can smell a drunk from his right side window under the same conditions that you can smell 'em from the driver's side. 10) Try hard to never, NEVER turn your back to traffic.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 11:43:40 AM EDT
Every thing Dave said and I try to practice the 8 step car stop: 1.Greeting- "Good afternoon sir." 2.I.D. Self and Department- "I am officer Smith from the Smithville Police Department". 3.Reason for vehicle stop- "Sir, I clocked your vehicle, by radar, 63 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone" 4.Justification- "Sir, is there any legal or justifiable reason why you committed this violation?". 5.Secure necessary papers- Proof of Insurance, and registration, thank violator for cooperation. 6.Clarification- "Is the information on these items correct and current?" And ask any other questions about the status of the driver and vehicle. 7.Decision- Decide wether to issue a summons or verbal or written warning. 8.Close- Conclude the vehicle stop by telling the violator how to handle the summons, if issued. Do not tell the violator to "Have a nice day", that will be looked upon as sarcasm, how can they have a nice day if you just issued them a expensive summons? If you feel the need you can tell then to "Drive safe" as a close.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 12:32:17 PM EDT
Yikes! Forgot one! Just like schv said: Tell the violator why you stopped him right up front after the greeting. You never know when you might stop someone who just murdered the clerk at a Stop-and-Rob. If he thinks he's only going to get cited for speeding, he might choose to delay shooting you when you least expect it and give you the upper hand. An officer I once worked with stopped an armed, big time serial killer for DUI. While he was balancing the guy out in front of the unit, his partner noticed that the right front seat passenger was a little too quiet, naked from the waist down...and dead. Serial Killer now on death row, if I recall correctly.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:19:28 PM EDT
Well the textbook traffic stop has been outlined. just few things i make sure i do.i leave them in the car and only get one suspect out at a time if i have to get them out and always keep an eye on traffic. as far as fst's i dont do them up on the interstate unless im way off the road. always stand outside while writing the cite. everyones metioned the perfect way ,we all change it a little here and there.i still cant figure out why troopers always have you walk back and sit in there car with them, in the passenger seat while they write you? The two tickets i've ever gotten years ago the troopers did this, here and in N.C.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 10:37:36 PM EDT
Everything up above. As for in or out, I leave them in until I'm ready to handcuff them. Most shootings I've studied, (and funerals I've gone to) involve the officer losing control of a suspect outside of the vehicle. As a side note, I've lost three patrol cars to drunks rear-ending me on traffic stops. In any of those cases, being between the cars would have been a very uncomfortable place to be.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 11:11:03 PM EDT
I use passenger side approach in about 95% of my approaches. Couple of Rules I NEVER break: Unless I have a second officer on scene, only ONE violator out of the car at a time. NEVER turn your back on a violator. Stand outside the vehicle when conducting a traffic stop. Sitting in the cruiser with the head buried in the ticket book, MDT, or whatever will make for a dead officer. Besides those rules, I make the basic routine stops talked about above. Stay safe out there guys. Everyone goes home...
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 8:39:09 AM EDT
All good advice...I always activate the yellow directional lights on the rear of my light bar, wig-wags are on, spotlight on driver, take down lights on...NEVER walk between vehicles, do NCIC checks & ticket writing from right rear of my vehicle (weather permitting)...one out at a time...etc, etc, etc...
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 5:43:18 PM EDT
Good point about walking between the cars...however I still do when going back to my patrol car....the reason is that I am more worried about the traffic going past and hitting me than the driver throwing his/her car in reverse and hitting me (not that it couldn't happen though). I make a lot of stops on a busy highway and there is a lot of drunks traveling the road from around 0100 to about 0300. For every stop I've ever made that resulted in trouble with the violator vehicle I've probably made 30 that the highest risk to me is the drunk drivers going past me. On the highway that I spend a lot of my time on, about 1 in 4 drivers are intoxicated and 2 in 4 have been drinking. I'm not saying that everyone here is wrong I just don't feel too comfortable near the passing motorists! Also with my spotlight on it's hard to see the road to my rear.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 9:54:20 PM EDT
I have a question for you guys. I always pull way off the road or parking lot, get out of the vehicle and stand behind it and off to the side of it. Hands visible. If it's night I will flick on the interior light before getting out. I have noticed over the last 5-10 years that some LEO get upset over this and some seem to prefer it. What gives? I would think that having the person in clear view would be safer for you than having to walk up to the truck where you can't see inside until you are there. Usually the LEO just saw that I was alone when he passed me.
Link Posted: 5/22/2002 10:04:29 PM EDT
I would say that you should remain in the vehicle until directed to get out, then follow directions to the letter, keeping youer hands open and visible at all times.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:12:37 PM EDT
Mo reasoning behind it Dave or anyonelse?
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:29:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2002 5:34:05 PM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
Originally Posted By Neolock: I have a question for you guys. I always pull way off the road or parking lot, get out of the vehicle and stand behind it and off to the side of it. Hands visible. If it's night I will flick on the interior light before getting out. I have noticed over the last 5-10 years that some LEO get upset over this and some seem to prefer it. What gives? I would think that having the person in clear view would be safer for you than having to walk up to the truck where you can't see inside until you are there. Usually the LEO just saw that I was alone when he passed me.
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1) You just got way more mobile. 2) You just opened up your field of fire. 3) You just opened up your field of view. 4) Is there some reason you don't won't the officer up by the car? 5) Much easier for you to physcally resist or fight the officer when standing. Other than that I can't think of a downside. ADD: Also the officer may be liable if you get out of your car and get hit by a passing vehicle. You would be surprised how many times at crash scenes, broken down vehicle, or just plain old traffic stops participants forget they are standing next to a road with traffic zipping by.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 7:18:57 PM EDT
Neolock, When someone gets out of their car to try and meet you away from their car, they are probably hiding something. It is a common tactic for nervous "mules" to use during intradiction stops.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 4:41:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LE6920: Neolock, When someone gets out of their car to try and meet you away from their car, they are probably hiding something. It is a common tactic for nervous "mules" to use during intradiction stops.
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Now that makes sense. I usually wait next to the back of my truck.
Originally Posted By OLY-M4GERY: 1) You just got way more mobile. 2) You just opened up your field of fire. 3) You just opened up your field of view. 4) Is there some reason you don't won't the officer up by the car? 5) Much easier for you to physcally resist or fight the officer when standing. ...Also the officer may be liable if you get out of your car and get hit by a passing vehicle. You would be surprised how many times at crash scenes, broken down vehicle, or just plain old traffic stops participants forget they are standing next to a road with traffic zipping by.
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1. Don't see the harm 2. Also just exposed myself with no cover. Seems to me sitting inside the car with a weapon across my chest would be a thousand time more dangerous for the officer. 3. Don't see the harm to the officer. To me it's more dangerous for me (when next to traffic). I want to see what's coming from behind, not sitting in the truck looking the wrong way. 4. Not really but, it's none of his business what's in my truck. 5. Weak argument,in my opinion, I would be willing to bet that 99 out of 100 times(or more)a LEO ask the driver to "step out" before they try to arrest the person. The "liability" issue, which I don't doubt some bonehead has tried to sue over (and probably got money for) seems really weak.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 5:07:25 PM EDT
When I make stops, the driver stays inside the vehicle. I don't like to unnecessarily irritate the public but I insist that they stay inside their vehicles. If they get out then I tell them to get back inside their cars. (In my opinion they are more restricted as to what they can to to me when inside their cars. Try shooting while seated inside a car and you will see what I mean.) If the driver/passengers insist that they must get out and stand outside then I inform them that if they refuse to get back inside their cars then I will arrest them since they are refusing to comply. So far I never have had a person flat out refuse to get back inside. One guy tried to argue but when I informed him of his options he decided to get back inside his vehicle. The same guy was arrested about a month later by two of our officers (I wasn't there). If he had simply gotten back inside his car he probably would have just gotten a speeding ticket. He ended up getting arrested and charged with Speeding, Fail to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle, and Disorderly Conduct. All he had to do when the officer lit up his overheads was to pull over. He would have gotten nothing but a warning. Instead he decided to drive for another 1/4 mile and then refuse to comply with instructions. It's better for all to simply comply and if the officer is wrong then submit a formal complaint against the officer through the right channels and with a polite attitude. Many people rant and rave to the department and those complaints never get heard.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 9:13:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2002 9:15:47 PM EDT by Dave_G]
Neolock, It would appear from your question that you are a serial traffic offender or someone who behaves in a suspicious manner much of the time. Your response supports the theory. You asked the question. You didn't like the answer, but it's not something that's open to debate. Your opinion on the issue is totally irrelevant. You do what the officer asks or demands or you suffer the consequences. It is the goal of the officer on every stop to keep the violator and his passengers at a disadvantage in mobility, field of fire, field of view and ability to resist until such a time as the contact is complete or the arrest is made. Then it's good to have sufficient backup around. As for the contents of your vehicle, the officer is entitled to look at anything in plain sight. If you have contraband visible from the outside of your vehicle, it's his business and you have no say in the matter. As it happens, Oly is 100% correct on every point he made, including the liability issue. The State of California has paid out millions to people who were stopped by the CHP and were struck by passing traffic. The department and the officer are very much liable for the safety of stopped violators and motorists with disabled vehicles.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 2:36:38 PM EDT
As something of a side note, I was kinda spooked when the local Sherrif's Office Officer asked me to get out of the car on a routine stop (some punk at my girlfriend's apartment complex had stolen my taillight cover). Apparantly, it's routine procedure for them. I've never been asked to get out of the car before, and I got the impression that cops usually want you inside the car unless they are going to arrest you, which makes more sense to me - it's much harder to shoot/attack a cop while in the driver's seat facing forwards.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 3:25:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_G: Neolock, It would appear from your question that you are a serial traffic offender or someone who behaves in a suspicious manner much of the time. Your response supports the theory.
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Not really Dave, seems most cops in Texas do not know the law very well regarding seatbelts, but, I do/did have a tendency to drive a little faster thabn the old 55. Now that the limit has been bumped back up to a reasonable speed, I seldom get stopped. It's actually been three or four years now.
You asked the question. You didn't like the answer, but it's not something that's open to debate. Your opinion on the issue is totally irrelevant. .
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Just about as irrelevant as you are.
The State of California has paid out millions to people who were stopped by the CHP and were struck by passing traffic. The department and the officer are very much liable for the safety of stopped violators and motorists with disabled vehicles.
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It's Califorinia - doesn't suprise me.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 3:33:04 PM EDT
Dear LEOs: If you are not in a marked vehicle, I may or may not stop for you. If I do stop for your unmarked, I will drive away if I see you get out of your patrol car and you are not in uniform. Do not approach my car.
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 3:46:15 PM EDT
With AFM's post, this topic has run it's course. Locked.
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