Sunday, July 19, 2009

Side Approach

Vehicle approaches don't all have to be done from the drivers side of the police car to the drivers side of the offenders car. As APOA Voice said in one of his comments, the passenger side approach is a good idea. I usually work with a partner and we have it worked out to a science. The instant he stops the car, I am out of the passenger seat and approaching the vehicle on the passenger side. I check the trunk, look in the back seat and on the back floor and then into the front seat. I make sure I get the driver's attention, even if I have to knock on the window glass.

When the driver is distracted by me, the driver officer then approaches on the driver side. If I see anything I don't like, I back up and may even draw my handgun and my partner will not approach. My partner will stop with the rear view mirror of the police car about where the driver side tail light is on the violators car. That way he has a safe lane to walk up to the violators car. Once he makes contact and gets whatever paperwork his needs and walks back, he will pass behind the police car to get back up to the curb. That way the suspect vehicle can't slam in reverse and crush him between the cars.

While we are both at the car, I make sure to watch everyone inside the vehicle, and check out the floorboards, center console, purse, visor, glove box as the driver reaches for insurance paperwork, registration, or drivers license. Just prior to walking back to the police car, I walk forward and check for a front license plate (required in CA) and make sure it is the same as the one on the back. Always has been but some day...

As we conduct our business, it is my job to watch the suspects car while he writes the ticket and runs the driver. Our dispatch center will always automatically give us a return on the license plate. If everything is okay, then we do the same thing again, and I will approach the vehicle first. I try and take a good close look at the floorboards, seats, cargo area before we leave. Sometimes an open beer will magically appear on the floor, so you gotta check; that's what the SGT Says.

4 comments:

APOA Voice said...

"As we conduct our business, it is my job to watch the suspects car while he writes the ticket and runs the driver." This is where many backing officers slack off a bit. Stay alert! Stay safe!

Protect_and_Serve said...

Contact and cover. Too many cover Officers try to be contact Officers.

Bunkermeister said...

If the cover officer switches to contact mode, then the contact officer should switch to cover mode. If you want to switch off, do it on the next call...

Bunkermeister said...

The time to slack off is when you are on your own time!! At home in the comfort of your own living room.