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Thread: Two Questions.

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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Two Questions.

    First Question:
    What verbiage do you guys use when initiating a traffic stop. We've been told to try to stay away from saying things like "Good Evening/Day" etc. Obviously, the subject in the stopped vehicle may have a different opinion about the day now that they are stopped and this could start you off on the wrong foot.

    Could someone more or less post their common dialogue from a traffic stop. I'm in the Officer Survival stage of the academy and I need some ideas to help me smooth out my interaction with people at a stop. Thanks.

    Second Question:
    How much verbal abuse/cussing will you take from a relatively compliant subject, at a traffic stop, before you pull them out of the vehicle with or without use of hands on techniques?

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    MacLean's Avatar
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    I never had any problem with just "Hello, I'm officer soandso with the yourtown police. I've stopped you for felonious mopery with intent to creep. Please provide me with your drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance."

    As to your second question, free speech is free speech. So long as they are compliant with the things the law allows me to require of them, they can run their mouth all they want.

    They're safer in the car unless there is some other reason to pull them out, and running their yap doesn't cut it legally.
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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Awesome. Thanks.

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    1. My agency actually has policy regarding the dialog. Without sounding like a policy manual it goes like this. We must state who we are, I'm officer so and so with my agency's name. The reason I stopped you was for running that read light at 1st Avenue and Maple St. I need see your driver's license and proof of insurance, please.

    Pretty simple. Just about anyone can do that, but it is how they present themselves while saying it that helps with question 2. People will know if you are scared, uncertain of yourself, or not squared away. We can get into the tactics of a traffic stop after you graduate and get verified here, but your appearance and demeanor matter. Just like I can tell when someone is smiling during a telephone call people can tell who is competent in the job and who is not. This is especially true with the people that are looking to hurt one of us.

    This all plays into both of your questions, but trust me if you actually know what you are doing and are confident in your actions your body language will show it. You will get much less attitude from people. Those I get attitude from I don't take it personally. Let them show their ass while I demonstrate professionalism. Come court time it makes for good TV time with the judge. PEOPLE WILL TRY TO GET A REACTION OUT OF YOU FOR THEIR ENDS. Don't fall for it. Maintain control of yourself and the stop.

    Demeanor, appearance, and how you present yourself will eliminate much attitude. In my dialog above you see courtesy, but no requests. They are commands to present license and insurance. Cursing and being a child are different than complying with commands that I give for both my safety and the safety of the person I'm contacting. Things like not being able to see hands and then ordering the driver to show you their hands as you approach. Enough of that, you get the idea.
    Last edited by Five-0; 08-28-11 at 06:18 PM.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLean View Post
    As to your second question, free speech is free speech. So long as they are compliant with the things the law allows me to require of them, they can run their mouth all they want.

    They're safer in the car unless there is some other reason to pull them out, and running their yap doesn't cut it legally.

    This. Let them run their mouth all they want. My cameras are all recording, giving wonderful evidence to what they were like on the stop when they come in to court acting like a saint.

    As to the greeting, I usually keep it pretty simple. "Evening, I need your license, registration, and proof of current insurance please" Once those are provided I explain the reason for stop. I do this to cut down on any debate for the cause for stop before I have them identified. If they ask me why I stopped them before I have at least their license/ID in hand, I kindly explain to them that I will gladly tell them once I have their information.
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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Ok. Thanks for the input. Now I just need to lose my robot "Safety, safety, safety" demeanor, loosen up a little with my voice and put it all together. I clam up when I try to go too fast. There are a lot of things going on all at once. I forgot a lot of stuff last night on one of my scenarios.

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    "Hello. I'm Deputy irishmick with the irishmick sheriff's department. The reason I stopped you this evening/morning/afternoon was because you failed to stop for that stop sign at Main and Idiot Streets. Is there any legal reason you did that?"

    I learned this in the academy and they call it "verbal judo". Even if they're angry, it gives them a moment to pause and answer your question (assuming they will). If they have a legal reason, so be it. If they don't and say no, then technically they've just admitted to doing whatever it was you pulled them over for and you can use that in court. Try not to sound like a robot, smile, and play nice until you can't.

    To answer your second question, unfortunately, having diarrhea of the mouth is not against the law anywhere that I know of. So they're cussing? Not to sound harsh, but get used to it. Keep your eyes and ears open and don't let the incessant language/talking/verbal abuse distract you. Perhaps they're trying to distract you from something else (are they stuffing crap between the seats and hoping that you won't notice?) and they don't want you to focus on anything else. Just keep your eyes open and let the words roll off your back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Ok. Thanks for the input. Now I just need to lose my robot "Safety, safety, safety" demeanor, loosen up a little with my voice and put it all together. I clam up when I try to go too fast. There are a lot of things going on all at once. I forgot a lot of stuff last night on one of my scenarios.
    I know this is going to sound corny and touchy feely, but you can't sound too much like a robot if you're smiling. It'll throw people off and relax you a little.
    --"D.B.A.D." --Me

    --Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.

    --"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard

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    My dialogue is pretty simple: "I'm Officer jks9199 of the This Here Police Department. I need your license & registration, please." Once I get the license & registration, I explain why I stopped them. It's sneaky, and it's polite, but you notice I'm NOT giving them a choice. I'm telling them to give me the paperwork. Depeding on the situation, like if I'm suspecting alcohol involvement, I'll tell 'em why I stopped them or ask them where they're coming from while they're looking for their documents.

    The key is to simply remember that you're doing this incredibly difficult thing -- actually TALKING to someone. So talk to 'em. They're already going to be in a weird place, because they've been stopped by the cops and it sure seems like at least 9 out of 10 have no clue what they did -- or think they didn't do it.

    I start out low key, but professional, as above. I can always escalate if needed, but it's hard as hell to start from escalated and move down. And I tend to a more friendly, "Andy Griffith" vibe as much as I can when I'm dealing with people... until there's a reason to change.

    As to taking abuse... It depends. There's a line, but by being professionally friendly, I've found that most folks don't cross it. The few who do? I don't tend to sweat it, unless they really push things. After all -- they don't know my mother, etc. so what they say has no real bearing. (And it infuriates the hell out of someone trying to push your buttons when you stay calm...)
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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Hahaha. Your "TALKING" part of your post sounds exactly like my OS Instructor. I never doubt the info they give and I know that it wouldn't be repeated in the same manner by others in other agencies and state if it wasn't true. I'm going to do better tonight. I just get nervous around the instructors and more so, I've been trained to ask permission to do anything since I was a kid and I've been told what to do and how to do it from my military school and military experiences, that when I'm around instructors I have a hard time thinking and doing for myself. I feel as if I have to make sure everything I say or do is exactly what they would say or do. When I've been in charge (E-5 in Army) I made decisions just fine. I guess I'm gonna have to find that part of me again LOL

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    Yeah, you'll definitely have to find that part again. Unfortunately, in law enforcement, if "they" sense weakness, they will take advantage of it...and that results in poor officer safety, getting you hurt or dead. Part of what your instructors are doing is making sure that you can take control of the situation. I remember one scenario in my academy where the person contacted was just off the hook. Literally all it took for them to cooperate was someone taking control of the situation and telling them exactly what they wanted to do in a stern way...prove that they weren't going to let them walk all over them.

    So, man up. It's absolutely fantastic that your parents raised you to be polite and follow orders (too few parents do that these days), but you have to set that personal part of you aside while you do the job or you will be perceived as being a doormat. You can still (and should) be polite, but make sure they know that you're in charge.
    --"D.B.A.D." --Me

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    --"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    (And it infuriates the hell out of someone trying to push your buttons when you stay calm...)
    This. It will usually make them try another tactic too. Especially with drunks, as they will hit emotional high and low points during the stop, depending on how drunk they are and how much they have had to drink.
    Last edited by Five-0; 08-28-11 at 06:20 PM.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    depending on how drunk they have had to drink.
    Five, how drunk have you had to drink?
    --"D.B.A.D." --Me

    --Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.

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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishmick View Post
    Five, how drunk have you had to drink?
    I'm glad you caught that too.

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    "Hi, I need your license and proof of insurance" is how i open it.

    I don't tell people why I stopped them until I have their license in my hand because if they want to argue it and deny it, or freak out and yell and scream...I don't even know who they are.


    And like everyone else said, if people want to yell and bitch and scream, let them. I normally just smile and say "ok."

    And rather than tell people "have a good day" or something similar after their stop I tell them "drive safe." I'll sometimes tell people to have a good day when it's a particularly good interaction and I give them a warning.
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    cirrusly is offline Rookie
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    Well. I'm off to work. Hopefully I don't get to hemmed up by the instructors tonight. I'm doing well on the non traffic stop scenarios, just gotta find my rhythm. I'll get it. I made it through combat. I can figure this stuff out. Thanks a lot for all the responses and help everyone. I have a feeling, I'm gonna really like this forum.

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    Typing to fast. Preparing for an HOA meeting, running insurance numbers, and checking work emails. That and I think faster than I type.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

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    I forgot to mention that I also TELL them why I stopped them.

    "I stopped you for speeding"
    "I stopped you for not wearing your seat belt" etc, etc.

    I NEVER say "Do you know why I stopped you?" or "Do you know how fast you were going?" etc, etc. It's sounds officious and arrogant to me.

    I can still get admissions by saying

    " I stopped you because you weren't wearing your seatbelt. Is there a reason for that?"
    "I stopped you because you were speeding. Is there a reason you were going so fast?"
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

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    I usually say something along the lines of "hello. I'm officer so and so with the XYZ police department. I need to take a look at your license, registration, and proof of insurance please.". I echo what others have said about professionalism. But don't mistake my politeness for weakness. I can flip the switch to controlled aggression very quickly.

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    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~

 

 
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