Once the trainee has mastered the simple traffic stop it is time to make the task more complex. The trainee should practice the approach to non-standard type vehicles. Trucks that are very tall, vans, and even buses are difficult to approach. When the driver is four feet above your head it is hard to have a conversation with them. When I have a vehicle that can place me at risk, I often have driver turn off the motor and exit the vehicle.
Train officers to deal with a driver who does not have a driver’s license. Ask the driver if he has a driver’s license but simply forgot to bring it with him. Ask if the license is valid or suspended. Have the violator write down their name as it appears on the license, their driver’s license number and their date of birth. Then the trainee can run the driver by name to determine if they have a valid license and write the ticket even without a license.
The next step is to teach the trainee to deal with violators who are not as cooperative. How do you get a violator out of the car who does not want to exit? Back off and treat it like a barricaded suspect if there is a concern about weapons. If not, try to open the driver’s car door and reach inside using arrest control techniques as you would for someone on a park bench. The trainee needs to practice both driver side and passenger side approaches. Don’t overload the trainee with too much at one time. Have them take little steps and build on each scenario; that’s what the SGT Says.