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Public Misunderstanding Of "Officer Safety"

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370 words

Public Misunderstanding Of
Public Misunderstanding Of
Public Misunderstanding Of
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How many times have you been pulled over by a police officer, and when
the confrontation was complete you said to yourself, "Boy, was he rude!" or
"There was no need for him to treat me like that." Well, unfortunately, the
public is prone to misinterpret an officer being safe for being rude.
Unfortunately, the actions taken during a "routine" traffic stop which are
interpreted as being rude are necessary steps that insure the safety of both
officer and civilian.

Imagine for a moment that you are a police officer on duty. You observe
a vehicle traveling 36 miles per hour on a 30 mile per hour road. You decide to
stop the vehicle and give the driver a verbal warning in hopes that he will
slow down and avoid an accident further down the road. As you walk up to the
driver's side window, you are shot 10 times in the face and chest and the driver
leaves you for dead. This situation actually occurred in San Diego, CA, 18
months ago. Many like it occur every day, and this is in the forefront of the
mind of every officer.

Another thing that an officer must keep in mind during a traffic stop is
the safety of the civilian driver. Same situation as above, but instead, as the
vehicle stops, the driver gets out of his car and is struck by a passing
motorist. Again, this happens more than you would like to believe.

The FBI conducts semi-annual research regarding the subject of officer
safety and procedural changes which increase the chances of law enforcement
officers surviving their high risk work day. These are the some of the
procedures which they have published in regards to traffic stops, and which
myself and other trainers have used to train their mobile patrolmen in hopes of
reducing their risk:

Step #1: Park your patrol car approximately 1.5 car lengths behind, and
with the passenger's side headlight even with the center of the violators
vehicle. By doing this you allow yourself, as the patrolman, an ample distance<...

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Keywords: misconduct by public official, misconduct public service, misuse of office by public servant

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