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  • Traffic stop procedures

    I thought we could discuss various tactics for solo-officer enforcement stops. In particular officer-safety tactics with respect to light use, vehicle positioning, approach, etc... This is my usual M.O.:

    I put out on the radio the plate and (anticipated) location prior to the stop. I activate my ambers to the rear for a moment to prepare vehicles to my rear, then the fronts. If the vehicle does not notice, I turn on the whole "christmas tree" and maybe blip my siren. If the vehicle stops in an unsafe location I will use the PA system to direct him/her to a safer spot. I offest my vehicle so that the centerline of my hood is at the left edge of the stopped vehicle. Most of the time I will cant my wheels to the left to help direct the patrol car into traffic rather than at me in the event of a rear-end collision. On non-busy roads I leave on my rear flashers, but not the christmas tree (I will use the christmas tree on high-risk daytime stops or collisions). If I'm on the freeway I turn off the lightbar and use my hazard flashers only.

    On non-busy roadways I will usually approach on the driver's side, but on freeways or busy roads I approach on the passenger side. For passenger side approaches I go around the rear of the patrol car to stay out of the "kill zone." Assuming there is no one in the back seat (small kids don't count) I position myself at the b-pillar while contacting the driver. My stance is such that my handgun is away from the driver. If there are multiple occupants, I will usually ask the driver to exit the vehicle and stand at the right-front corner of the patrol car. When I return to the car with the driver's information, I go to the passenger side (again going around my car) and do all my information running and citation writing from there with the door open. I do not sit in the car as it reduces my vision and ability to move quickly.

    I bring this up because I have seen some alarming instances of bad officer safety during traffic stops. I hope everyone is practicing good tactics, and wondering if some other people have different methods for non-felony car stops.

  • #2
    While this forum is supposed to be for officers only it is STILL a public forum and I for one will not discuss tactics here in public and do not think it wise for anyone else to do so.

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    • #3
      I do not like anyone getting out of the car unless I am searching it and or arresting people. They stay in the car nice and contained. Everything else I agree with you on.
      Happy to be here proud to serve

      "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

      Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cruiser
        While this forum is supposed to be for officers only it is STILL a public forum and I for one will not discuss tactics here in public and do not think it wise for anyone else to do so.
        I do not think the topic of vehicle stops, since the public views them on a daily basis, rises to the level confidential information.
        "You are always just one bad decision away from unemployment, prison or death."

        "My profession dictates that I routinely confront the people that the average citizen fearfully crosses the street to avoid. Then I must endure the criticism of that citizen as he judges my actions from afar."

        www.speforums.com

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        • #5
          I have to agree that discussing tatics on a non-secure board is a very bad idea. The public gets a view of a stop, but they have no idea of the tatics unless we explain them on here, and inmates with internet access get to study them.
          South Bloomfield Police Department
          K9 Unit


          American Working Dog Council

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          • #6
            Originally posted by spetactical.com
            I do not think the topic of vehicle stops, since the public views them on a daily basis, rises to the level confidential information.
            I agree to an extent, however providing a step by step list of what may happen can give someone wishing to harm a officer a checklist of what to look for in his mirrors, and find an advantage point to make his/her move.
            Still leading the team in PIMs, the fans are calling me a goon.
            --------------------
            This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a... car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.

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            • #7
              I agree that this is not the place to provide a step by step. No matter what people say, there are criminals that frequent this site and many others. Yet another reason why O.com should enable a secure access area for us LEO's.
              In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

              In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

              Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

              I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


              The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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              • #8
                What you do seems to be fine. I have some other things to add, but the consensus is that the public doesnt need to look at our playbook, and I agree. PM me to discuss more if you like!
                And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”- Romans 8:28

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                • #9
                  I agree. This is not the place to discuss tactics.
                  Job description as told by an old timer: "Drive fast cars, look at pretty women, and drink coffee".

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                  • #10
                    Stop is made in safest location possible
                    Approach passenger side away from traffic
                    EVERYBODY unless arrested stays in car.
                    Lights on unit remain activated

                    You will by instinct follow your training if you get too comfortable or lax while making stops you eventually will get hurt.

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                    • #11
                      Does anyone actually monitor these posts to delete sensitive information? I think it is a very bad idea posting offiicer safety information in public forums, thats my two pence worth

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                      • #12
                        My bad

                        Sorry I didn't realize that there would be such a backlash on this thread because I wanted to discuss tactics. There are MANY publications readily available to the general public should someone wish to learn police tactics for criminal reasons (I could list them but won't), thus I didn't think it would be a problem here. In recent times I have seen several officers using VERY POOR officer safety tactics on car stops and I was hoping to engage in some conversation which would promote better tactics for vehicle stops.

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                        • #13
                          Agreed

                          Originally posted by Cruiser
                          While this forum is supposed to be for officers only it is STILL a public forum and I for one will not discuss tactics here in public and do not think it wise for anyone else to do so.

                          I have to agree with you on this one Cruiser.....not comfy giving up inside info on a public forum....that could be bad ju-ju for some brother officer somewhere......

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                          • #14
                            Why is this not secure like **************? How hard would it be?
                            South Bloomfield Police Department
                            K9 Unit


                            American Working Dog Council

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                            • #15
                              Yes there are many places to get tactical info. But if you wanted to learn criminal behavior wouldn't you go to criminal.com? Why make it easy for them? There could be a felon in some prison right now reading these posts.

                              Totally not cool!!!! I would prefer this whole thread be deleted.

                              Comment

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