No one likes to get pulled over. As a cop I have pulled over many traffic violators in my 22 years of service. We know it is a nerve racking experience for you, as it is for us, too. In today’s climate of police brutality and officers being shot, it leaves a lot to be desired. What I know for sure is this: most officers do not want to violate your rights or shoot you, and most drivers don’t want to shoot the officer. We both want this encounter to end quickly and safely.
My suggestion to both officers and drivers is to stay calm. As the driver, put your hands on the wheel and avoid any sudden movements. As an officer, treat the driver with respect and explain in a calm voice why you pulled them over. Do what the officer asks and stay respectful even if you don’t agree with the reason you were pulled over. That is not the time or place to argue your view. Save that for traffic court. The officer should be professional and courteous while obtaining pertinent documents. The officer should explain the ticket or warning quickly and get the driver back on his or her way.
Like I have preached throughout my career, officers need to treat people with respect and realize the driver is nervous for many reasons. What I tell any young officer, and will continue to preach, is that everyone doesn’t need to go to jail or get a ticket. Let’s change the climate of law enforcement and the community, one encounter at a time.