Monday, July 11, 2016
“For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right; but those doing evil will always fear him. So if you don’t want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for he will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose. Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should.” (Romans 13:3-5 (TLB)).
Blue lights? Was I speeding? Do I have a brake light out? Does he think I’m someone else? Do I need to get out and walk back to his car? What must I do? What should my passenger do if I have someone with me? Have you ever asked yourself some of those questions? You need to. You also need to be aware of some other things, which could save your life if you are pulled over!
1. First give a signal and pull off the highway far enough so the officer will not be in traffic when he walks to your car. Stay in your car. Your passenger stays in the car. You never get out of the car unless the officer asks you to do so. Turn off the radio. If it is nighttime, turn on your interior light. If it is dark, the officer will his lights on you.
2. Roll down the window on your left. Before the officer gets out of his car to approach yours, get your driver’s license out of your billfold or purse and have it in your hand. Do not reach over to the glove compartment to retrieve any papers. He doesn’t know if you are reaching for a weapon or something else. Place both hands upon the steering wheel where he can see them. Your passenger needs to place both his hands in front of him on his lap where the officer can see them.
3. When the officer arrives at your car, do not make any sudden moves. Sudden moves are interpreted by an officer as warning signs that his life may be in danger. Wait for him to ask you for your license, then when asked, give it to him! Your passenger(s) should not make any sudden moves! He is not interested in your passenger(s) unless they suddenly do something which he interprets as a danger to his life! The officer does not know you, even if you think the world does! He will sit in his car giving information concerning your tag to see if you have any moving violations or arrests. However, keep in mind that he doesn’t know whether or not the car has been stolen but the owner has not yet reported it. If you have more than one passenger, he may be waiting for backup. His safety is of utmost importance to him.
4. Do not argue with the officer. Do not antagonize him! Stupid is as stupid does!! Be polite. Keep in mind that even though you are courteous, criminals also can be in order to take advantage of an officer and remove him as a threat to them! Until the officer is able to properly identify you, he has to view you as a potential threat. Three places where an officer is most likely to be killed is in a domestic violence call, driving the patrol vehicle, and at traffic stops. Keep in mind that you may be able to explain any stupid actions on your part, but until you are properly identified, your actions, no matter how innocent, may be viewed as threats. If so viewed, you put yourself in danger by your improper moves.
5. If you have a permit to carry and have a firearm on your person or concealed in the car, do not reach for it to give to the officer. First, have the carry permit with your driver’s license in hand, to offer to the police officer when he is at your window. When he checked your plates he will know you have the permit and may be armed. Although you know you are a lawful citizens, he does not yet know you are the actual owner of the car. Tell him you are carrying and ask him what you need to do, but DO NOT reach for the firearm at that time even if you have it on your person!! A criminal might do the same, using that ruse to bring the weapon up to shoot the officer. When he tells you what to do, very slowly follow his exact instructions. Remember, NO quick movements!! He may ask you for the weapon. If so, be very methodical in handing it to him properly and carefully as instructed. Also keep in mind that a carry permit does not guarantee you a pass on your traffic violation!
6. The officer may ask you to get out of the car and stand to one side so he can retrieve your firearm or perhaps to search your car. If so, follow his instructions to the letter. Do not argue. Do not complain. Do not become hostile unless you want to taste pavement, enjoy a ride in the backseat of his car, pay a heavier fine, and perhaps see what it is like to be on the wrong side of steel bars!
7. Police often deal with people who lie, spit on and hit them, curse them, kick them, and even attempt to stab or shoot them. They sometimes have folks who attempt to take their weapon to use against them. Even well dressed, calm speaking individuals become violent when stopped by the police for small violations of the law. When a police officer approaches your car, he has to assume that you may be one of those individuals. Your actions, innocent or otherwise can send up red flags to him. Don’t be one of those individuals, for his sake and yours!