Question to LEO's about traffic stops.

This is a discussion on Question to LEO's about traffic stops. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Could you give me your opinion as to why when you make a traffic stop you would rather have the subject stay in the car ...

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Thread: Question to LEO's about traffic stops.

  1. #1
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    Question to LEO's about traffic stops.

    Could you give me your opinion as to why when you make a traffic stop you would rather have the subject stay in the car with their hands on the wheel verses having the subject get out of the car? I realize sometimes it is not practical because of the weather or other circumstances, but I would think most of the time it would give you the upper-hand in the stop because you can see what they are doing.

    If the subject was going to run, I would just as soon have them running on foot verses fleeing in a car that now you are going to have to run down at high speeds, and risk injury to others, if they take off on foot and want to run stop sign and stop-lights on foot I don't care but if they are in a car, to me that puts far more people at risk.

    When the subjects are setting in the car, they may be trying to hide illegal items, or may be accessing a weapon for your return. So what's the rational in keeping them in the car

    Thanks in advance.


    SleepingZ

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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I am not LE but I would think the obvious advantage is the suspect can't physically attack the officer. They can't get their hands directly on the officer. If an officer approaches from behind and stays to the rear the suspect has to pivot in the car seat to do anything to the officer. If he is on his toes the driver won't get the drop on him. When an officer stops someone they have usually been observing them for awhile and they continue to observe when both cars come to a stop. They don't jump right out, they watch to see what the people in the car are doing such as trying to hide things. I'm sure there are other reasons that an officer could tell us about.
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    Member Array falkon's Avatar
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    +1 to the two posts above.
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    Member Array Chaddae52's Avatar
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    If I were a LEO, I cant see myself being comfortable with EVERYONE I stop getting out of their vehicle. Couldnt most of you do some pretty good damage, with bad intentions, if you were out of your car on an approaching LEO? I know I could. Doesnt take much to quick draw and squeeze a few off. I'd have a much harder ime sitting in my seat and pointing backwards out my window. Just my thoughts.
    "Like a muddied spring or polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked." -Proverbs 25:26

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    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Do I stay in or get out of my car?

    Do I stay in or get out of my car?

    Most officers prefer (or they should prefer) that you stay in your car when you are stopped. If they want you to get out, they will ask you to. From an officer's standpoint, many criminals will exit their car to try to prevent the officer from seeing what they have in there with them. Staying in the car also allows the officer to focus his/her attention on the passenger compartment alone.

    If you do get out and the officers tells you to get back in, do not be offended...he/she is just trying to their job safely. Officer Safety is Key point. Believe it or not Traffic stops are more dangerous than domestic disputes.

    Your attitude with the officer.

    I was taught many years ago that an officer should decide whether or not he/she is going to issue a citation BEFORE approaching the violator. YEAH RIGHT! The violator's attitude has a lot to do with whether or not a ticket is issued. There were many times that I stopped people and intended initially to just warn them, but they had to lip off and I just could not seem to keep my pen from scooting across the ol' ticket book. Remember, the officer generally has the last word on traffic stops and you will do yourself no favors by irritating him/her. That does not mean you have to suck up to them or anything, just be as courteous and respectful as you can be and let it go at that.

    Sudden or suspicious movements.

    I realize that the term suspicious as used here is pretty relative, but put yourself in the officer's shoes. How would you react if you saw a violator reaching under the seat or grab suddenly for the glove compartment? The vast majority of these actions are innocent enough, but they are also responsible for far too many officer deaths each year. Granted, there are times when you must access these areas to obtain information requested by the officer, just use some common sense when doing so and remember the officer's situation. Keep in mind, the officer has no idea who or what you are or may have just done. I have stopped violators for mere speeding and found out during the stop that they just committed an armed robbery. THEY knew what they had done, but I just thought they were in a hurry (I guess I would have been too).

    "Driver's license, registration, & proof of insurance, please." These words should come as no surprise to you if you are pulled over, yet I saw so many people with a blank look on their face when asked, and it took them forever to find them. Try not to get stopped in the first place, but if you do, have these documents ready when the officer approaches your window. It saves you and the officer time (which you probably have less of or else you wouldn't have been speeding).

    Special Considerations For Nighttime Car Stops

    After you pull over, turn on your interior dome light. This helps to illuminate the inside of your car and lets the officer know that you have nothing to hide and are willing to cooperate. Remember, the only light source the officer usually has is a flashlight. When he/she shines it in and around your car, it is not to irritate or offend you, it is just so they can see what's going on and evaluate the situation.
    Prepare to be blinded. Nighttime car stops are not the favorite thing for an officer to do. There is something about walking up on a car full of who-knows-what and not being able to see inside that can make an officer's liver quiver. Therefore, to allow for a little better vision inside the violator's vehicle, the officer will likely utilize every light source available on the front of the patrol car. This can be a bit overwhelming for the violator, especially if they are not expecting it. Today's light bars are equipped with very bright "takedown" lights and modern halogen headlights, so your mirrors can become a sea of brilliant white light in a split second. Just be prepared for this and remember, the officer is at a significant disadvantage as it is, the lights are just for his/her safety, not to offend you. Be polite, adjust your mirrors if you need to, and let the officer do what they have to do.

    Do not be offended by the flashlight. A flashlight is an officer's eyes at night, therefore the beam will move around quite a bit as he/she looks around in the dark, to include the interior of cars. If, while an officer is scanning the interior of your car for anything unusual, the beam of the flashlight happens to blast your retinas, do not automatically assume that the officer did it intentionally. Also, remember that the officer WILL look around inside your vehicle for safety reasons, so do not be offended. Again, put yourself in the officer's shoes.

    The most important message I can convey is the fact that I teach officers that “HANDS” kill and they should be looking for everyone’s hands when stopped put your hands at 10:00 2:00 on the steering wheel and follow all the commands given by the officer and you should have no problems!

    Hope this helps!

    Tom Perroni

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    Member Array Biloxi Bersa's Avatar
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    I don't believe that you're going to get a straight answer out of a LEO about this issue. To do so would be opening up all LEOs' to a tactical disadvantage.

    Let's let the cops do their job to the best of their training and ability and leave it at that. Their job is tough enough as is without questioning their motivations or tactics (within reason).

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    New Member Array dannreed's Avatar
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    DCJS instructor, well said. As a 20+ year ex cop, I couldn't have said it better. One other point in my view, if your sitting in the car, it's really hard to swing at me.
    Dan

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    So be it.

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    Good post Tom...

    That about covers it .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biloxi Bersa View Post
    I don't believe that you're going to get a straight answer out of a LEO about this issue. To do so would be opening up all LEOs' to a tactical disadvantage.

    Let's let the cops do their job to the best of their training and ability and leave it at that. Their job is tough enough as is without questioning their motivations or tactics (within reason).
    I thought I gave a straight answer?

    Tom Perroni

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannreed View Post
    DCJS instructor, well said. As a 20+ year ex cop, I couldn't have said it better. One other point in my view, if your sitting in the car, it's really hard to swing at me.
    Dan
    Dan,

    Roger that! Good Point!

    Tom Perroni

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    Member Array Biloxi Bersa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCJS Instructor View Post
    I thought I gave a straight answer?

    Tom Perroni
    Sorry Chief!

    I admit I didn't read your lengthy post in full. It was not my intent to insult LE or your expertise.

    Just figured the troops liked to supply info on a need-to-know basis.

    I now see your logo that you run your own training school. didn't mean to question your expertise or your response.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biloxi Bersa View Post
    Sorry Chief!

    I admit I didn't read your lengthy post in full. It was not my intent to insult LE or your expertise.

    Just figured the troops liked to supply info on a need-to-know basis.

    I now see your logo that you run your own training school. didn't mean to question your expertise or your response.
    No Problem!

    Thanks!

    Tom Perroni
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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    What to do when interacting with the police -- for your safety and for theirs -- should be TAUGHT, EXPLICITLY, in schools.

    Why isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljeffrey View Post
    What to do when interacting with the police -- for your safety and for theirs -- should be TAUGHT, EXPLICITLY, in schools.

    Why isn't it?
    Because they have a hard enough time teaching them how to read. Besides, you cant really teach common sense.
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