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Do you get back in your car on a traffic stop after the initial contact?

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  • Do you get back in your car on a traffic stop after the initial contact?

    After making initial contact, I usually go back inside the patrol car and sit with one foot out and my door open. I will run my returns via MDC to limit radio traffic. I was recently shown a different technique by conducting my returns via radio directly behind my patrol car trunk on the passenger side. The rationale was that if someone was going to jump out and shoot, the are more than likely going to be throwing bullets down range toward the driver seat.

    Anyone else have ways to make traffic stops safer and make sure we all go home after our shift?

    This technique (new to me) was brought to my attention after several officers were killed, after the initial contact with a traffic violator.

  • #2
    I try to do it the way my FTO taught me. I was never shown the one foot out--door open method though.

    “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

    George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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    • #3
      No matter what, you're at a disadvantage as a PO. Personally, I angle my vehicle so as to have my engine between me and the vehicle, the best I can. I go back and sit in my vehicle after initial contact to run information and write the citation if applicable. I leave my door "cracked" and my foot resting against the door, so all I have to do is kick the door open if necessary. Sometimes I will leave the door open and rest my foot on the ground, however I try to avoid this because if the door is open, I cannot use the mirror to see what's happening behind me.

      Returns over the radio is possible for me, however it's more time consuming and takes me off the primary radio channel. Bottom line is, different people will have different techniques on how they do things, and there's a LOT of controversy over how to do a "proper" traffic stop. The most important thing is to be vigilant, and never get complacent.

      The benefit I have working within a small town, is that myself and other officers are always backing each other up on stops. It's uncommon to be on an entire stop my yourself.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by amvlasic View Post
        After making initial contact, I usually go back inside the patrol car and sit with one foot out and my door open. I will run my returns via MDC to limit radio traffic. I was recently shown a different technique by conducting my returns via radio directly behind my patrol car trunk on the passenger side. The rationale was that if someone was going to jump out and shoot, the are more than likely going to be throwing bullets down range toward the driver seat.

        Anyone else have ways to make traffic stops safer and make sure we all go home after our shift?

        This technique (new to me) was brought to my attention after several officers were killed, after the initial contact with a traffic violator.
        We typically do not discuss tactics or other officer-safety centric matters here. Simply put- anyone could read these posts and use that information against us.

        That said- each stop (of field contact) is different and will drive how your manage it. Beyond the nuances of your cop-o-logic there is weather, road conditions and other factors that play into it.

        However- let not weather put you into a bad position!
        Originally posted by SSD
        It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
        Originally posted by Iowa #1603
        And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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        • #5
          I write in my car. I have to anyways...etickets, weather etc
          For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

          "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

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          • #6
            You use TRACS bro? I love it.
            MDRDEP:

            There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

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            • #7
              I just write up the ticket in the car. Our radio channels are far too busy to do checks on the air. I judge people by their demeanour and if I think there's something NQR or there are four or five heads onboard the car I might get a backup unit.

              Generally I have no issue with just sitting in the car and glancing up every minute or so.

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              • #8
                The method I use depends on where I want the stop to go. If it's going the route of possibly writing a ticket (which almost never happens), I sit in my car and run over the MDT because running the license check over the air doesn't give me driver history beyond license validity. This is also the case for potential DUI's, since I like to know how many prior convictions they have and DUI probation rarely shows up in the Supervised Release File, but it always shows up on DMV history.

                If I ever get a weird feeling or something isn't right, then I stand where I need to. Hell, I've circled around and approached cars from the front before... Scared the hell out of the occupants who were too busy looking at all my flashy bright lights.

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                • #9
                  Well staying outside is great and all, but I gotta write the ticket (if I do) and that's done inside my car from the driver seat.

                  I keep my door propped open with my foot INSIDE (i use my knee to keep it ajar)

                  last thing I need is my foot getting zinged by the door and the door jamb by whatever it can be.

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                  • #10
                    Yes I get back in my car. You do not expect me to stand in the heat do you???
                    Making the streets safer, one donut at a time

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                    • #11
                      I usually climb into my trunk until I finish writing the citation. If everyone is "legit" I will just get into their trunk while I write them. It sounds a little stupid I guess, but it keeps me out of the rain, cold or hot sun.
                      I see dumb people in the mirror.

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                      • #12
                        I never keep my foot out the door, in case a passing car hits the door, it could close on your foot, or rip your door (and foot) off!
                        The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                        I Am the Sheepdog.


                        "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                        that we are all that stands between
                        the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Where else would I go? Into traffic? Where the heck do you guys work that you can prop the driver's door opened? I'm lucky I don't get hit while standing out of the car let alone having a door opened.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you're leaving a door open I hope it's away from traffic. Don't leave a foot between said door and door frame unless you're willing to loose said leg.

                            No matter where you are (sitting or standing) don't get too focused on your papers/MDC. Keep your head up and on a swivel.

                            If you go to the rear of the car, stand to the side a bit, not directly behind your car. Unless of course you like the idea of some idiot cutting you in two when he slams into the back of your patrol car.
                            Today's Quote:

                            "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                            Albert Einstein

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                            • #15
                              As a highway patrolman, I do a few things differently than a city cop. When I make my stops, I am usually right on the fog line so I do not want to sit in my car with my door being held open by my foot. I will make passenger side approaches and have the driver exit the vehicle if I feel there is more to the traffic stop than just a traffic violation. Either way, I will then walk back to my patrol car, open my passenger door and stand outside my car behind the open door and write my warning/citation, all while keeping an eye on the vehicle.

                              Comment

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