Police Officer Stopping

Strengthening The Citizen and Law Enforcement Partnership at The Traffic Stop:
Professionalism is a Two-Way Street




Part I: Practices for Traffic Law Enforcement Officers

Blue BulletDuring Typical Stops
Blue BulletSpecial Conditions
Red BulletConfrontational Drivers
Blue BulletDuring Suspicious or Felonious Stops
Blue BulletConclusion

Part II: Practices for Drivers

Blue BulletWhy Officers Conduct
Blue BulletTraffic Stops Are Dangerous
Blue BulletWhat Can You Do?



Confrontational Drivers

31. Handle drivers with negative attitudes appropriately. When the driver or occupants are hostile, minimize the potential for escalation by ignoring their attitudes and concentrate on the driving behavior and getting the violator to respond to your requests. Also, continually reinforce that you are taking this action to correct the driving behavior and not because of other personal reasons.

Use your training in crisis intervention and other intervention techniques to de-escalate the problem. For example, if the violator begins yelling, talk softly so he may quiet down.

Remain polite and professional at these times, even if the incident escalates to an arrest. There will be fewer problems if violators and suspects are treated fairly.

32. If questioned about a specific procedure or action, you may say, itís a state law or itís an agency policy. This indicates that the officerís action has a legal or procedural basis and that the action is not being taken for some personal reason.

33. If drivers make claims of unfair treatment, politely inform them how to make a complaint to the agency or your supervisor.