Sunday, February 14, 2010


An officer pulls over a suspect who gets out and dances in the street rather then obeys the officers commands. Then the suspect pulls out a gun and eventually shoots at the officer. When a suspect is stopped for a traffic violation, generally, I like to keep him in the car. If the person gets out of the car, then I quickly put them back in or move them to the curb and sit them down. It's all about control. When I do a traffic stop, I am in control.

If the suspect gets out of control, by dancing in the street, rather than getting back in the car, then I need to take steps to restore control. The first thing to do is call for at least one urgent back up officer. There is safety in numbers and often suspects are more compliant when outnumbered. The next thing to do is give firm verbal commands to the suspect to get them to stop dancing and go sit on the curb. This would probably be a good time to consider deployment of the Taser or pepper spray. The suspect has not been searched, and there could be weapons or other suspects in the suspect vehicle.

At the time the suspect takes the long gun out of his truck, it is time to put out an officer needs help call, order the suspect to drop his weapon, and if he fails to immediately comply, then the officer needs to consider shooting. Move to the rear of the police car, or get inside and back up at a high rate of speed to get out of the kill zone. The suspect has a long gun and a tactical advantage over the officer with only a handgun. Once the officer is in fear of his life, because he thinks the suspect is going to shoot him, then he needs to rapidly shoot the suspect until the threat stops; that's what the SGT Says.

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