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Word Count: 785
Public Misunderstanding of Officer SafetyHow 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 civilianImagine 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 drivers 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 officerAnother 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 believeThe 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 riskStep 1 Park your patrol car approximately 15 car lengths behind and with the passengers side headlight
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