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Vehicle Stop and Approach. ALETA. Traffic Stops. Each year vehicle stop confrontations result in at least one-third of the fatalities to law enforcement officers

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traffic stops
Traffic Stops
  • Each year vehicle stop confrontations result in at least one-third of the fatalities to law enforcement officers
  • Research has indicated that an officer’s skills in risk perception, assessment, and reaction become significantly diminished as their career continue
  • The average number of years of service for officers killed in the line of duty has risen to approximately nine years

ALETA

traffic stops1
Traffic Stops
  • Undetected movement incorporates movement and surprise and allows the officer to remain tactically undetected to the subjects stopped
  • If you can see them, they can see you

ALETA

common errors to avoid
Common Errors to Avoid
  • Completing citation in unit with dome light on
  • Backlighting your approach with your units headlights creating a silhouette
  • Walking up to vehicle with flashlight on and close to your body

ALETA

traffic stop tactics
Traffic Stop Tactics
  • Closer is not always better
    • Distance increases your safety and effectiveness by giving you more time to asses and respond
    • If a firefight occurs, distance allows you to utilize your training in marksmanship and cover more effectively
    • Allows time to visually search the suspect and vehicle for movement

ALETA

vehicle stop sight selection
Vehicle Stop Sight Selection
  • Environmental factors
    • Consider what factor the current conditions will effect the location of the stop
  • Consider traffic flow and congestion
    • Let discretion govern your enforcement actions
  • Location
    • Be aware of your surroundings as you may have stopped the violator in his neighborhood

ALETA

visibility
Visibility
  • A growing percentage of officers are injured or killed being struck by vehicles while conducting a traffic stop
  • Fog and rain present vision limitations on the conscientious driver, not to mention the intoxicated, tired, or distracted driver
  • Darkness not only limits vision, but can also create fear, paranoia, and aggressiveness

ALETA

visibility1
Visibility
  • Road design
    • Seek and area with wide shoulders, if possible, and firm support for vehicles
    • Avoid driveways, curves, hills, private property, business property during business hours
  • Road surface
    • Ice, debris, and water increase the chance for accidents

ALETA

dispatch protocol
Dispatch protocol
  • Run N.C.I.C/ A.C.I.C. and local warrant check prior to stop if possible
  • Inform dispatch of your location
  • Give initial description of vehicle and of the occupants
  • Give reason for the stop
  • Confirm that dispatch received the correct information
  • Instruct dispatch to periodically check your status

ALETA

low risk stop misdemeanor stop
Low Risk Stop (Misdemeanor Stop)
  • Fully activate emergency equipment day or night
  • Maintain safe following distance
    • Focus primary vision on driver and passengers
    • Watch for movement
    • Do the occupants act normally
    • Does the situation seem increasingly suspicious

ALETA

low risk stop
Low Risk Stop
  • Make a slow and controlled stop
  • Position patrol unit 10-15 feet behind the violator vehicle
    • At this distance most vehicles can be safely assessed
    • Increase distance another 10-15 if your patrol unit is equipped with a camera

ALETA

low risk stop1
Low Risk Stop
  • Turn wheels to the left to maximize cover
  • Offset position of patrol unit
    • Allows a safety lane for approach once the officer moves beyond the side of the patrol unit
    • increases exposure to traffic upon exiting the patrol unit

ALETA

low risk stop2
Low Risk Stop
  • Angle position of patrol unit
    • Places a portion of the patrol unit between the officer and violator
    • Reduces the effectiveness of headlights during a nighttime stop, can blind oncoming traffic
  • In-line position
    • Must be used if traffic patterns or roadway designs dictate
    • Must be aware of traffic during entire stop

ALETA

low risk stop3
Low Risk Stop
  • Be aware of traffic when exiting patrol unit
  • Leave engine running to maximize emergency equipment intensity
  • Assess your risks by watching driver and passenger actions
    • Excessive nervousness
    • Reaching under seat, glove box, ect.
    • Did the driver adjust the rear-view mirror for a better look at your approach

ALETA

low risk stop4
Low Risk Stop
  • Standard approach
    • Officer moves along the left front of the patrol unity, enters the safety lane created by the unit positioning, and on up to the point of driver contact
  • Crossover approach
    • Allows officers to check the interior of the vehicle then return to the drivers side, or conduct the stop from the passenger side

ALETA

low risk stop5
Low Risk Stop
  • Constantly assess and reassess your risks
  • Make sure your portable radio is on
  • Primary vision on the driver
    • Use other senses, smell, hearing, street sense
  • Keep weapon hand free
  • Assume alert stance
    • Hands above waist allowing quick access to weapon, feet apart with slight bend in knees

ALETA

low risk stop6
Low Risk Stop
  • Checkpoints
    • Trunk- ensure the trunk is closed by placing your hand on the rear corner and pressing down leaving your fingerprints on the trunk
    • Check interior through the vehicle windows as you make your approach maintaining awareness of occupants actions

ALETA

low risk stop7
Low Risk Stop
  • Position yourself behind the driver’s door
    • Prevents the violator from knocking you off balance or to the ground if he suddenly opens his door
    • More tactically sound position where you are able to see into the vehicle and forces the violator to turn in order to see you making him physically off balance

ALETA

low risk stop8
Low Risk Stop
  • Officer/ Violator contact
    • Present yourself professionally
    • State your name, agency, and reason for the stop
    • Tactfully answer questions, avoid arguments
    • Request driver to turn off ignition
      • Reduces potential for a drive away
    • Accept license and documents in non-weapon hand
    • Back away from driver and vehicle

ALETA

low risk stop9
Low Risk Stop
  • Instruct the driver to remain in the vehicle
  • Complete citation outside the patrol unit on the passenger side
  • Check for warrants, valid D.L., ect. from this position(violators know if they are wanted)
  • Maintain visual contact of violator
  • Either give a citation or lecture, not both
  • Upon return to vehicle recheck everything
  • Return documents in non-weapon hand
  • Thank the violator for his cooperation and back away toward your patrol unit

ALETA

low risk stop10
Low Risk Stop
  • Night conditions
    • Full activation of all lighting equipment
    • High beams on suspect vehicle if safe for other traffic
    • Spotlight directed at inside rear view mirror
    • Take-down lights directed at vehicle
    • Approach with flashlight in support hand, turned off. Use only when necessary and then hold it away from your body
    • Ask subject to turn on interior dome light upon contact

ALETA

transitional stop
Transitional Stop
  • A stop that escalates from low risk to high risk as a result of latent or unseen threats
  • Officers must be prepared to change tactics
  • Violator actions prior to and during the stop give clues so do not become complacent in your procedures
  • A violator may become angry after receiving a citation and become violent
  • Be as tactically sound with re-contact as with initial contact with the violator

ALETA

high risk stop felony stop
High Risk Stop (Felony Stop)
  • Tactical assessment has been made and it is determined that the stop presents the maximum potential of bodily harm
  • Never perform a high risk, or felony stop alone if at all possible, wait for back-up

ALETA

high risk stop
High Risk Stop
  • Dispatch protocol for high risk stop
    • Initial location of stop
    • Precise vehicle description
      • License Plate information/ check for stolen
      • Vehicle year, make, model, color, body style, and other distinguishing features
    • Occupant descriptions
      • Names if known, subjects actions, other factors

ALETA

high risk stop1
High Risk Stop
  • Suspect’s efforts to avoid the initial location of the stop may be an attempt at setting a trap or locating a familiar location to flee on foot
  • Advise dispatch of needs for assistance and proper deployment of responding units
  • Get acknowledgement from dispatch of each message received

ALETA

high risk stop2
High Risk Stop
  • Position units 25-35 feet behind violator
  • Weapon drawn and aimed towards suspect
  • Position One- Angle support
    • Second unit arrives to rear of primary unit
    • Second officer tactically moves to the primary units right rear fender
  • Position two- In-line support
    • Second unit arrives to rear of primary unit
    • Second officer tactically moves to the primary units passenger seat with door open

ALETA

high risk stop3
High Risk Stop
  • Position three- Dual Angle support
    • Ideal position if surroundings allow
    • Second unit arrives at a parallel angle to the available side of the primary unit
    • Second officer remains in the driver’s seat of his unit with the driver’s door open using as much of the vehicle as possible for cover

ALETA

high risk stop4
High Risk Stop
  • Primary officer issues all commands
    • Use the P.A. system or a loud commanding voice
    • Use an authoritative tone, never screaming, maintain professional and in control
    • Make commands clear and concise
    • Inform driver and passenger(s) of the serious nature of the stop and of the absolute necessity for compliance
    • Direct commands specifically to identified subject(s) in the vehicle
    • Constant communication must be maintained between all officers

ALETA

high risk stop5
High Risk Stop
  • Second officer handles communication with dispatch
  • Both officers maintain primary vision on suspect(s) while also looking for vehicle movement. Don’t look at your partner while speaking to him
  • Assess your risks - Each officer can read the situation and communicate with each other as needed

ALETA

high risk stop6
High Risk Stop
  • Initial Subject Contact and Command Dialogue
    • “Driver and passengers, put your hands up with your palms to the rear”
    • “Driver, put the car in park and roll down your window. Driver turn the ignition off and throw your keys out of your window. Place your hands up with your palms to the rear.”
    • Assess your risks - Have you received absolute compliance or reluctant reaction?

ALETA

high risk stop7
High Risk Stop
  • “Driver place both hands out your window palms facing towards me.”
  • “Driver open your door from the outside and push it open all the way with your foot.”
  • “Driver, step slowly out of the vehicle with your hands up high in the air and face away from the patrol unit.”
  • “Driver, turn 360 degrees (full circle), keeping your hands high in the air.” look for weapons
  • “Driver, following my commands, move backwards toward the sound of my voice, keeping your hands high in the air.”

ALETA

high risk stop8
High Risk Stop
  • The suspect is commanded back to the second (support) officer in a protected position to be determined by unit placement
  • The suspect is then handcuffed, escorted backwards to the rear of the lead unit, searched, and asked questions by the second officer, while primary officer’s vision remains on suspect vehicle
  • The suspect in then placed in the back of the lead patrol unit
  • Repeat procedure for each suspect, front seat then back

ALETA

high risk stop9
High Risk Stop
  • After securing all visible suspects, repeat command - “Passenger, put your hands up, with your palms to the rear.”
  • Continue to give bluff commands if possible while officers approach to secure the suspect vehicle.
  • Secure suspect vehicle, using good tactics

ALETA

high risk stop single officer
High Risk Stop (single officer)
  • Position your patrol unit 25-35 feet behind the suspect vehicle
    • Angle option maximizes cover
    • Assess the variety of cover immediately available and assess your risks
    • Remain in your unit with your door open using as much of your vehicle as possible as a position of cover

ALETA

high risk stop10
High Risk Stop
  • Turn on portable radio and make your microphone accessible
  • Draw your weapon and direct it toward the suspect
  • Initiate control with verbal commands
  • Talk the occupants out and back to your unit to initiate arrest procedures one at a time

ALETA

traffic stops2
Traffic Stops
  • Never let yourself to become complacent and never treat any traffic stop as a “routine traffic stop”. It is when you become complacent that you disregard procedure and the propensity for injury or death multiplies
  • Remember, complacency kills

ALETA