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View Full Version : When is one required to get out of a vehicle during a traffic stop?


bden
06-19-2009, 1:25 AM
If the officer says, "Could you step out of the vehicle?" do you have to comply, or is that a simple request that can be refused like, "May I search your car?"?

johnthomas
06-19-2009, 1:52 AM
Not getting out of the car would be, failure to comply with an Officer. Most Officer's have no reason to have you outside of the car unless he suspects something. You might have a warrant, the car is not yours or not registered he saw or smelt something. The safest place for the Officer is out side of the car and you in it with your hands in plain site. He will normally not break that protocol unless he has a reason.

taloft
06-19-2009, 5:31 AM
Non compliance isn't recommended. I just make sure to lock and shut the door after I get out.

Jonathan Doe
06-19-2009, 8:09 AM
I had the drivers get out of the car several times, because of the traffic condition and I felt I needed to get out of the way of the traffic. There were no other safer places to conduct a stop. That was almost 20 years ago. I don't know how it is done now.

SVT-40
06-19-2009, 4:16 PM
If the officer says, "Could you step out of the vehicle?" do you have to comply, or is that a simple request that can be refused like, "May I search your car?"?

I don't know if there has been any changes in the past few years, but it used to be up to each officers discretion. Based on each situation. In other words it's an officers safety issue and the courts have held that if an officer orders you out of your car you must comply.

Remember you may not be aware of the reason for his actions at the time. Afterwords ask in a polite way.

Refusing to exit will only get you MUCH unwanted attention. And "could" lead to a very uncomfortable situation for you.

Ron-Solo
06-19-2009, 4:24 PM
Non compliance isn't recommended. I just make sure to lock and shut the door after I get out.

I had a guy do that same bonehead manuver once. He locked his keys in the car with the engine running. I just asked him to get out so I could talk to him because the road was too narrow where he stopped. If he had stopped when I first lit him up, there would have been plenty of room to talk safely.

Also, If I have PC to search your car and you pull a move like that, I can force entry into the vehicle after requesting your keys and receiving a refusal. Plus, you might be charged with obstructing based on the circumstances.

Being a fool doesn't help much when you're are stopped and will probably just make things worse.

BillCA
06-19-2009, 4:38 PM
Yup... generally you stay in your car unless the officer asks you to step outside. It is generally a good idea to take your keys from the ignition, pocket them and lock the car door before you get out. If the officer does have PC to search the car he can handcuff you and obtain the keys from your pocket after you refuse to consent to a search (if he even asks).

Many moons ago, I watched an LA area officer order a man out of the car and when he tried to say something the cop sprayed him with Mace/PS. When that didn't work, he dragged the guy out of the car to discover the man's legs ended about mid-calf. Vietnam war vet/minefield victim. And yes, the cop was a long time trying to dig out of that hole.

capo689
06-19-2009, 5:28 PM
I am lost on the concept of a free country where we even have to worry about such things. Say I am speeding... if that's all that is going on and I am doing 75 in a 65... why even pull me over... send me a ticket. Furthermore, if I do need to be pulled over for speeding and the cop walks up to the car, I don't think anything except seeing someone's life in danger should be PC for a search. We just need to get back to peoples private lives being their private lives. The more our government treats people like children the more they act like it. We should increase penalties for crimes and remove the investigative portion of street officers jobs... if they see a crime or a crime is reported then they get involved... but all this investigation for a uniformed cop seems insane. I think it gives them too much power to harass, and honestly, they work for us... if we need a cop they should be a phone call away (not 30 minutes on hold) however, we should be able to have a car and home with no chance they will ever have some random cause to dig through our stuff.

I live in Long Beach... I LOVE our local PD. They talk to people, I know the cops that walk the street, I know the shift commanders cause they were the beat cops when I moved here. I constantly here them talking to people... at 2am they let you know if you don't look like a good candidate for driving and let your friends know... if you turn the wrong way down a one way (happens a lot downtown)... they pull up next to you and offer directions. I am sure they violate some rights to get the job done... but as a rule, they aren't out to search people or get in their business but they do a solid job of keeping the peace. Most of all if I call a cop here, I know I am getting someone who's goal is peace and resolution not a guy out for justice. (that would be why we have judges remember)

LA Cops have not been the same experience, and honestly I don't know how the CHP gets away with the stories I have heard. Laws that remove freedom pit our friends the police against us... bad cops do the same. I would submit that freedom inhibiting laws and a few bad apples make all the great cops out there harder than the criminals ever could. Cops are American citizens too... maybe my ideas aren't the final solution... but an armed society is a polite society, a honest society is a free society, and I for one want the cops defending my right to be free not being the agents of incarceration for a country in which 1 in 32 people are involved in a for profit justice system as an inmate, parolee, or on probation.

So my answer to your question is yes... you have to do what you are told by your public servant even if you have committed no crime. In todays system a cop has no choice but to follow procedures and do his "job" so while you shouldn't give the officer a hard time... you should remove any government who would create such oppression by any means necessary to restore democracy.

Ron-Solo
06-19-2009, 10:39 PM
Your post isn't a 'question for law enforcement' as outlined by the rules of this forum but since you've made some interesting 'observations' of you view of law enforcement, I will address them as best I can.

I am lost on the concept of a free country where we even have to worry about such things. Say I am speeding... if that's all that is going on and I am doing 75 in a 65... why even pull me over... send me a ticket.

How do we know who you are and if you are impaired. Part of writing a ticket is to change bad driving habits before you cause an accident. If you get a ticket in the mail 3 weeks later, you may have been endangering peoples lives for 3 weeks where maybe I could have prevented it. Sometimes a ticket isn't necessary to change driving behavior.

Furthermore, if I do need to be pulled over for speeding and the cop walks up to the car, I don't think anything except seeing someone's life in danger should be PC for a search.

Well, that is not the law of the land. By your logic, if I saw a kilo of cocaine on the back seat when I approached, I shouldn't be allowed to search. All searches eventually are reviewed by a court of law and a judge trained in the law.

We just need to get back to peoples private lives being their private lives.

When a criminal's private life impacts the lives of others, it's not private

The more our government treats people like children the more they act like it.

I don't believe that and I doubt too many others do either

We should increase penalties for crimes and remove the investigative portion of street officers jobs... if they see a crime or a crime is reported then they get involved... but all this investigation for a uniformed cop seems insane.


How do you think an investigation gets started? Only on TV do detectives go out an start an investigation.

I think it gives them too much power to harass, and honestly, they work for us...

We work for all the people and the laws of the state give us the ground rules.

if we need a cop they should be a phone call away (not 30 minutes on hold)

You're gonna need a lot more cops. We prioritize calls for service based on the severity of the incident and the risk to the public. You can't have someone sitting around just responding to calls for service without paying for it. We actually try to catch crooks before they can find additional victims.

..however, we should be able to have a car and home with no chance they will ever have some random cause to dig through our stuff.

We don't dig through people's stuff at random. The Constitution gives us certain guidelines for search & seizure. We have to have legal cause to search, which is reviewed by our supervisors, the district attorney, a judge, and finally a jury. We get it right A LOT MORE than we get it wrong.


I live in Long Beach... I LOVE our local PD. They talk to people, I know the cops that walk the street, I know the shift commanders cause they were the beat cops when I moved here. I constantly here them talking to people... at 2am they let you know if you don't look like a good candidate for driving and let your friends know... if you turn the wrong way down a one way (happens a lot downtown)... they pull up next to you and offer directions. I am sure they violate some rights to get the job done... but as a rule, they aren't out to search people or get in their business but they do a solid job of keeping the peace. Most of all if I call a cop here, I know I am getting someone who's goal is peace and resolution not a guy out for justice. (that would be why we have judges remember)

I've worked alongside LBPD many times and think very highly of them. They also make a lot of arrests that begin with a 'routine' traffic stop. I'm glad you are happy with the service you receive from them.


LA Cops have not been the same experience, and honestly I don't know how the CHP gets away with the stories I have heard.

Don't put too much faith in 'stories' that are often not backed up by facts.

and I for one want the cops defending my right to be free not being the agents of incarceration for a country in which 1 in 32 people are involved in a for profit justice system as an inmate, parolee, or on probation.

The way our laws were developed centuries ago, with their origins in Mosaic law, the Code of Hamurabi, and English Common Law, punishes CRIMINALS with INCARCERATION. We put a lot of people in prison because they commit crimes, not for any 'for profit' system as you state. That 'for profit' statement just doesn't make sense.




Since by your post you are clearly not a law enforcement officer, in the future, please refrain from giving advice or opinions that may be construde as advice.

Please feel free to ask any law enforcement question, as long as it is put forth in a polite and civil manner, and I'm sure several of us will be happy to address your question.

paul0660
06-19-2009, 11:06 PM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.

As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.

masameet
06-19-2009, 11:25 PM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.

As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.
LEOS educate as well as ticket. That's what Ron_Solo is attempting to do, educate, when he refutes Calgunners who use the LEO forum as a soapbox to post their FUD views on American jurisprudence and cops.

SDRICH
06-19-2009, 11:27 PM
Along these same lines, I have a legal membership that issued me a card that I'm supposed to present to, in a respectful and courteous manner, to the officer that is pulling me over. The card states: "Notice: If it is your intention to question, detain or arrest me ... or serve me with a warrant, please allow me to call my attorney immediately. (This person is a member of the Legal Shield program and has 24-hour telephone access to legal representation.)" Frankly, I've hesitated to present this to an office because I haven't wanted to piss them off and make my situation worse; I cooperate with the officer and i haven't felt the need to use this membership. Any thoughts on how you'd feel if someone handed you a card like this? Thanks for the insight!

tyrist
06-19-2009, 11:36 PM
Along these same lines, I have a legal membership that issued me a card that I'm supposed to present to, in a respectful and courteous manner, to the officer that is pulling me over. The card states: "Notice: If it is your intention to question, detain or arrest me ... or serve me with a warrant, please allow me to call my attorney immediately. (This person is a member of the Legal Shield program and has 24-hour telephone access to legal representation.)" Frankly, I've hesitated to present this to an office because I haven't wanted to piss them off and make my situation worse; I cooperate with the officer and i haven't felt the need to use this membership. Any thoughts on how you'd feel if someone handed you a card like this? Thanks for the insight!

You can go ahead and throw that card away since you don't get your attorney till you are booked anyway and we only have to get one for you if we are going to interrogate you while you are in custody. Just say you don't want to talk to us without an attorney present and that ends all questioning. You will never see/speak with your attorney till after you have been booked into jail.

SDRICH
06-19-2009, 11:51 PM
Cool, well... no plans of getting booked into jail in the future. I just wanted to make sure that presenting this card isn't 'the' reason that an officer thinks... 'ya know, i was going to let him off with a warning, but he had to be a tool and use this mickey mouse card... he's getting booked!' Thanks for the feedback tyrist.

sorensen440
06-19-2009, 11:56 PM
If asked to get out of the vehicle then do so

Saying no is not going to end well

tyrist
06-20-2009, 12:31 AM
If asked to get out of the vehicle then do so

Saying no is not going to end well

Saying no is not even an option. You are required to obey or an Officer can use reasonable force to gain compliance.

bden
06-20-2009, 12:40 AM
Maybe my question was misunderstood, so what I was really asking was NOT "Can I ignore an order from an officer?", but rather...Is there a circumstance in which an officer might REQUEST that you step out of the car, but you're not actually required to do so? Maybe a passenger is drunk & doesn't want to end up being drunk in public due to the request to get out, maybe it's just cold outside and you don't want to be 1 step closer to a vehicle search...the cop doesn't really have anything to go on, but wants to fish a little further by having you step out voluntarily...

tyrist
06-20-2009, 12:46 AM
Maybe my question was misunderstood, so what I was really asking was NOT "Can I ignore an order from an officer?", but rather...Is there a circumstance in which an officer might REQUEST that you step out of the car, but you're not actually required to do so? Maybe a passenger is drunk & doesn't want to end up being drunk in public due to the request to get out, maybe it's just cold outside and you don't want to be 1 step closer to a vehicle search...the cop doesn't really have anything to go on, but wants to fish a little further by having you step out voluntarily...

Nope if you are detained it's not a request it's an order. If you are not detained you can do whatever you want. How exactly is he making contact with you in a vehicle without stopping you...wouldn't you just drive off? Asking you to exit the vehicle would pretty easily end up becoming a detention whether legal or not.

BillCA
06-20-2009, 2:50 PM
As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.
If you've nothing to hide, would you just hand him your checkbook and let him look through all the entries in the register? Why not just open the trunk too?

The vehicle is mine and I get out of it, I'll lock it up for my own peace of mind, thank you. One could almost call it an "officer safety" courtesy because it means I can't jump back in and take off easily... or gain access to a firearm as easily.

SVT-40
06-20-2009, 3:11 PM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.

As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.

Paul, I guess you missed the title of this forum. Here it is so you can better understand it.

"Calguns LEOs LEOs; chat, kibitz and relax. Non-LEOs; have a questions for a cop? Ask it here, in a CIVIL manner"


So yes, it is a "Law Enforcement forum". End of story, not a place for others to post their "opinions". Go to another forum for that.

SVT-40
06-20-2009, 3:15 PM
Maybe my question was misunderstood, so what I was really asking was NOT "Can I ignore an order from an officer?", but rather...Is there a circumstance in which an officer might REQUEST that you step out of the car, but you're not actually required to do so? Maybe a passenger is drunk & doesn't want to end up being drunk in public due to the request to get out, maybe it's just cold outside and you don't want to be 1 step closer to a vehicle search...the cop doesn't really have anything to go on, but wants to fish a little further by having you step out voluntarily...

If your passenger is drunk. He is already in public. Being in or out of a vehicle on a public roadway makes no difference.

It's up to each officer at the time to decide if he wants you to stay in, or exit your vehicle. End of story.

One other thing. EVERY traffic stop is a detention. If the officer uses a red light to stop you you have no choice but to stop. If you don't you are fleeing and subject to arrest.

Ron-Solo
06-22-2009, 8:48 AM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.

As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.

This IS a Law Enforcement Forum.

ojisan
06-22-2009, 8:54 AM
I prefer not to get out of my car because I am usually too stand to drunk up.

Fire in the Hole
06-22-2009, 9:03 AM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.

As far as getting out of the car goes, the 4th and 5th amendment have nothing to do with it, so get the heck out, if you can. Locking doors and closing windows........sounds like a good way to make a cop an enemy. Assuming you have nothing to hide.

I've got a couple of LE Supply stores I can refer you to for your shopping needs. There are a myriad of reasons I may want you to get out of your car during a traffic stop. Perhaps I recoginze you as a teen age boy I coached little league way back when. You're now 17 and out on a date. You've broken the law. Once I recognize your name, and know your parents are good people, I'll invite you out so that I can give you a verbal warning that's going to curl you weiner up inside. I'm trying to save you the embarassment in front of your girl friend. You can go back and tell her you BS'd or sweet talked me out of a ticket. Maybe you are a Boyscout Master with a van full of boys. I see that you are not in a seat belt, and the boys are hopping all around the van. I don't want to embarass you in front of the boys and have them loose respect for you, but I'll invite our out, away from ear shot of the boys for some up-close personal quality time.

Just remember things are not as simple or as devious as they might seem.

Kestryll
06-22-2009, 9:21 AM
Huh? Put a sock in it Ron. Capo expressed some opinions, big deal. As soon as this becomes a "law enforcement" forum, let me know, and I will buy some high boots and mirror shades.


Guess what there genius, this IS an LEO forum!!
I made the damn thing I ought to know.

And guess what else?

You will NOT be posting in this forum again!

sorensen440
06-22-2009, 9:31 AM
Saying no is not even an option. You are required to obey or an Officer can use reasonable force to gain compliance.
Thats what I mean by not end well

SVT-40
06-22-2009, 10:31 AM
Originally Posted by bden View Post
If the officer says, "Could you step out of the vehicle?" do you have to comply...


Note the wording. That's a question and something anybody could ask anybody. Heck, you're allowed to walk up to an officer and ask him the same thing. Do you have to do anything? No. Many would advise you to just step out of the vehicle at this point, but you'd be within your rights to ask if you are being ordered out of the car or if it was just a question. A cop can ask you to do a lot of things including answering a lot of questions, but it doesn't mean you have to. You should ask if you are being ordered to step out of the vehicle or if it was more of a suggestion than anything else.

An officer might pull you over and just for your safety ask you to step out of the vehicle, so if your car gets hit you won't be inside it....but that doesn't really mean anything if they just ask.

It gets complicated once you start asking questions like "am I being ordered out of the car or may I stay inside it?" A lot of people from that point on will consider you to be rude, a jerk, looking for trouble, deserving any treatment you receive from that point on, etc. I say you're well within your rights to ask a question like that...it just depends on how you want to play things. Do you want to do anything the cop suggests you do or do you want to only do what you are legally required to do? Do you want to stand up for your rights and exercise every last one of them or are you willing to give up some freedom to make the stop easier (possibly get off with just a warning, etc.).

Please don't construe any of this to be legal guidance...it's just my opinion.


Using this very narrow and limited bit of information, No you would not "have to step out of the vehicle"

You could say. "No officer I would rather not".

His next words would probably be something to the effect of,

"Well then I'll make this simple it's an order". "Step out of your vehicle".


Both have the same result.

You are out of your vehicle.

So instead of making the officer order you out, just get out. You end up in the same place and it does not then appear you are playing word games.

bluestaterebel
06-22-2009, 10:34 AM
What upsets me is when people step out of their car on their own when I am walking up to it. My senses are at a heightened level at that point and I go into sensory overload when the door swings open.

masameet
06-22-2009, 11:22 AM
What upsets me is when people step out of their car on their own when I am walking up to it. My senses are at a heightened level at that point and I go into sensory overload when the door swings open.

Still do you always undo the tab on your holster during a stop?

Last year I found myself unable to find a particular road while riding my motorcycle. Saw a CHP patrol car parked nearby and rode up to it. The officer (he looked to be about 25 years old, very fresh faced and young) inside it got out. As he walked towards me, I noticed he loosened the holster tab over the grip of his S&W 4006. As he kept his distance, he also kept his hand close to his pistol. I thought he was overdoing it but understood his need to follow precaution.

Jicko
06-22-2009, 11:26 AM
You can comply, and step out, and right the way, lock your car behind you too, right?

Fire in the Hole
06-22-2009, 11:28 AM
Still do you always undo the tab on your holster during a stop?

Last year I found myself unable to find a particular road while riding my motorcycle. Saw a CHP patrol car parked nearby and rode up to it. The officer (he looked to be about 25 years old, very fresh faced and young) inside it got out. As he walked towards me, I noticed he loosened the holster tab over the grip of his S&W 4006. As he kept his distance, he also kept his hand close to his pistol. I thought he was overdoing it but understood his need to follow precaution.


Alas, this is what they are taught to do now every time so that it becomes muscle memory, and so that can testify in court, or out of a citizen's complaint, that it wasn't done indiscriminately on this one person; it's what they do every time as a matter of training and consistensy.

ilbob
06-22-2009, 11:37 AM
If the officer says, "Could you step out of the vehicle?" do you have to comply, or is that a simple request that can be refused like, "May I search your car?"?

This is the way I see it. Maybe the cops on the board might agree.

There could well be a good reason for the "request". In any case its not really a request, it is an order. And when agents of the state make such orders, it is up to you to obey and not question. Chances are there is a good reason for getting you out of the car (perhaps a safety issue). If not, it really does not matter much. you still have to follow orders.

Do as you are told (I am tempted to add "like a good serf" but I won't :)), making sure you roll up the windows and lock the car when you exit, pocketing the keys, unless ordered otherwise.

There is nothing to be gained by arguing with cops, especially if they are acting inappropriately. If they are acting appropriately, you should be doing as told anyway. If not, they still have the full force of the state backing their actions and there is nothing you can do about it at that point.

If it was inappropriate you can try pursuing some kind of satisfaction within the system afterward but the end results of that process probably won't be real satisfying to you. Your best bet is to just get over it. Even if treated unfairly, so what? The world is often unfair. Just the way things are.

Vacaville
06-22-2009, 11:39 AM
I used to always get out of the car on my own whenever I was stopped without being told to do so. I read somewhere that it was a disarming gesture, where if you stayed in your car you were in a better position to flee or could pull a weapon out. It seemed to work, because my interactions with LEO's seemed more friendly.

Recently I heard that they want you to stay in your car, so now I'm not sure about my old tactic. Been a while though since I got pulled over. What say you LEO's - should I stay in the car or get out?

Fjold
06-22-2009, 12:16 PM
I was taught that you stay in the car until the cop asks or tells you to get out. I was also taught to turn my dome light on and put both hands on the top of the steering wheel as the cop walks up.

It seems like common sense to me, I have enough scars.

Fire in the Hole
06-22-2009, 1:08 PM
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! You have to realize that in today's LE Academies, the cadets are trained in acting scenarios. We use to get college kids from the local JC Drama class, to come out and aid us with traffic stop drills. The kids and the cadet were issued paint ball guns, and face masks. Drill after drill, when the cadet took a fatal paint ball it was with someone rushing out of there car to demand to know why they were being picked on, while the cadet was still trying to unfasten his seat belt, or with a left side approach, where the kid could come up with the paint ball gun and cap one off over his left shoulder at the cadet. The cadets remember this when they hit the streets as a real cop. I remember as a cadet I "pulled over" a car with three "Nuns" in full habits. I was relaxed, and friendly until all three "Sisters" unloaded on me with paint ball guns from under their apron fronts.


I was taught that you stay in the car until the cop asks or tells you to get out. I was also taught to turn my dome light on and put both hands on the top of the steering wheel as the cop walks up.

It seems like common sense to me, I have enough scars.

Ron-Solo
06-22-2009, 4:42 PM
Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! You have to realize that in today's LE Academies, the cadets are trained in acting scenarios. We use to get college kids from the local JC Drama class, to come out and aid us with traffic stop drills. The kids and the cadet were issued paint ball guns, and face masks. Drill after drill, when the cadet took a fatal paint ball it was with someone rushing out of there car to demand to know why they were being picked on, while the cadet was still trying to unfasten his seat belt, or with a left side approach, where the kid could come up with the paint ball gun and cap one off over his left shoulder at the cadet. The cadets remember this when they hit the streets as a real cop. I remember as a cadet I "pulled over" a car with three "Nuns" in full habits. I was relaxed, and friendly until all three "Sisters" unloaded on me with paint ball guns from under their apron fronts.

That's why it is critical that training scenarios be realistic and 'winable' without having to blast away every time.

On a lighter note, I remember being directed to stop a car by the helicopter crew on a vehicle that matched a description of one used in a robbery with shots fired as few blocks from where the helicopter picked it up. It was a station wagon (remember those?) with tinted windows in the rear. When we made a full blown felony stop with about six units, imagine our embarassment when 3 real nuns, in traditional nun habits, exited the vehicle upon command. My first instinct was to look for the "candid camera" people, the 2nd was to shoot down the helicopter :D The nuns were very forgiving adn gracious. For some reason, I took a lot of ribbing for the stop when it was the rotorheads that should have taken the heat. Oh well.

what2be
06-22-2009, 4:58 PM
What upsets me is when people step out of their car on their own when I am walking up to it. My senses are at a heightened level at that point and I go into sensory overload when the door swings open.

LOL, I used to do that EVERY time I was stopped when I was a kid. Had a hopped up firebird and was CONSTANTLY getting pulled over for bs stuff (obstructed view of windshield, loud exhaust, etc) and one day I realized they really DONT like it when you come out of the vehicle before them.

I was just trying to be polite and greet them outside.

Ron-Solo
06-22-2009, 5:18 PM
I've only been stopped once in the last 20+ years and as a LEO, I stay put until directed otherwise. Common courtesy as far as I'm concerned. I got a warning for my brakelight out and went on my way.

Many times people jump out of their car and rush back towards the officer. depending on the area, it is a good way to get a nice view of the muzzle end of a service pistol.

By the way, should we still use the term "clearing leather" when everything is made of plastic now? Mmmmm.........I sure miss my old Hoyt breakfront Border Patrol holster with the reverse cant for my wheelgun. :D

Fire in the Hole
06-22-2009, 5:53 PM
Well yes, I didn't mean to imply that these are just conducted as shooting gallaries. Sometimes when we see a cadet all ready for a shoot-out, we instruct the drama kids, to do everything perfectly, and no shooting. This kind of messes with their heads a bit when they thought for sure they'd be shot. We spend most of one day doing this at different stations.

That's why it is critical that training scenarios be realistic and 'winable' without having to blast away every time.

On a lighter note, I remember being directed to stop a car by the helicopter crew on a vehicle that matched a description of one used in a robbery with shots fired as few blocks from where the helicopter picked it up. It was a station wagon (remember those?) with tinted windows in the rear. When we made a full blown felony stop with about six units, imagine our embarassment when 3 real nuns, in traditional nun habits, exited the vehicle upon command. My first instinct was to look for the "candid camera" people, the 2nd was to shoot down the helicopter :D The nuns were very forgiving adn gracious. For some reason, I took a lot of ribbing for the stop when it was the rotorheads that should have taken the heat. Oh well.

bluestaterebel
06-22-2009, 5:57 PM
Still do you always undo the tab on your holster during a stop?

Not all of the time but quite a bit. Most of my stops are gang related in South Central L.A.

bluestaterebel
06-22-2009, 6:11 PM
I used to always get out of the car on my own whenever I was stopped without being told to do so. I read somewhere that it was a disarming gesture, where if you stayed in your car you were in a better position to flee or could pull a weapon out. It seemed to work, because my interactions with LEO's seemed more friendly.

Recently I heard that they want you to stay in your car, so now I'm not sure about my old tactic. Been a while though since I got pulled over. What say you LEO's - should I stay in the car or get out?

Yeah that tactic is not good anymore, if it ever was. If you get pulled over, time allowing do all of the following: Pull to the RIGHT. you will be surprised how many people dont get this. Lower all of your windows. Please PLEASE turn your radio off. (that is so annoying) If the officer has to ask you to do it then you are off to a bad start. get off of the CELL PHONE! yes even blue tooth. remain seatbelted. Have all of your paperwork in a readily accessible location, insurance, registration, license (this should be done before driving). and lastly put your hands on the steering wheel and dont look back trying to find the officer, just look forward until he gets to you. the officer is looking at you as he approaches and doesnt like to see you fidgeting around. And PLEASE, dont ask, "what seems to be the problem officer." The officer may ask you a silly question like do you know why i stopped you? Pretty much this is your opportunity to fess up to speeding, not signaling or whatever you did. If you truly dont know, then say so without any condescending remarks. Do this and you just may get out of a ticket.

Fire in the Hole
06-22-2009, 8:07 PM
+1 on pulling to the left into a narrow center divider, that in 10 minutes is going to transform into a car pool lane. Please always always pull to the right. It's always been that way. I would say that that would be the one thing that will prejudice me from a verbal warning into exchanging autographs.

BillCA
06-23-2009, 5:56 AM
Still do you always undo the tab on your holster during a stop?

Last year I found myself unable to find a particular road while riding my motorcycle. Saw a CHP patrol car parked nearby and rode up to it. The officer (he looked to be about 25 years old, very fresh faced and young) inside it got out. As he walked towards me, I noticed he loosened the holster tab over the grip of his S&W 4006. As he kept his distance, he also kept his hand close to his pistol. I thought he was overdoing it but understood his need to follow precaution.

Releasing the retention device (snap, tab, hood, etc.) is taught as a precaution whenever the officer makes a stop where there is a potential risk. If he's stopping Mz Soccer Mom with five 8 year olds in her mini-van, that's a low-risk stop.

And anytime you approach an officer seated in his patrol car, his alarm bells will probably go off. He knows he's "trapped" in his car if you pull a weapon and his will be harder to deploy.