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Safe Driver Call Backs

Richard B. Weinblatt

Everyone who’s been in the popo business for any amount of time knows that the two most dangerous activities law enforcement officers engage in are (I’ll give you a moment to guess)… domestic disturbances and traffic stops. With traffic stops, you just don’t know whom you are stopping. The person could be an emotionally disturbed person (the politically correct phrase for a crazy psycho type), a bank robber, or a little old lady on the way to church. You just don’t know.

Traditionally, police academies and employing law enforcement agencies have taught the driver’s side approach. Slowly, the passenger side approach has also been broached. Now there’s a new trend afoot in the traffic stop lexicon.

The driver call-back, or no approach, is gaining traction as officers come to grips with the dangers of roadside traffic stops. Many progressive law enforcers, such as the 1,500 sworn patrol deputy sheriffs of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, FL, now use this approach.

By the way this is not be confused with calling the driver back while you are firmly ensconced in the driver’s seat. This is a lazy and dangerous way of doing a driver call-back that I would never advocate.

The safer (notice it is “safer” as nothing in this business is safe or a guarantee) approach involves calling the driver back and changing positions to have a tactical advantage.

There are many advantages to using this tactic. Here are a few of them:

1) Divide and conquer. By calling the driver or occupants back to your marked vehicle, you have taken away any strength in numbers advantage that they might have had otherwise. If you had approached their vehicle, you would be confronting all of them together.

2) Sizing up. Bringing them back to your world allows you to assess them before walking into uncharted waters.

3) Distance from Weapons. When you call the driver back, you remove him or her from the proximity of any weapons that he or she may have stashed in the passenger compartment.

More on call back techniques >>>


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    ymakhandy68

    almost 7 years ago

    66 Comments

    i like to learn more about defensive tactics...Thank you

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    rtuller

    almost 7 years ago

    10 Comments

    I like this approach. Thank you

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    Skip

    almost 7 years ago

    8 Comments

    I learned something today; THANKS

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Skip

    almost 7 years ago

    8 Comments

    I learned something today; THANKS

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Skip

    almost 7 years ago

    8 Comments

    I learned something today; THANKS

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Skip

    almost 7 years ago

    8 Comments

    I learned something today; THANKS

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    scvanlee

    almost 8 years ago

    54 Comments

    I have a better idea. If you're worried about getting hit by a car, which is a very valid concern, get the ^&^#! off the freeway when pulling cars over. Doesn't anyone watch those dashcam videos? Nearly every one is some poor trooper or deputy who gets a crook out of the car then gets assaulted. I am used to California L.E. practices and while we don't have all the answers, I think this is a terrible idea. If your goal is to write a cite, leave them in the car. If they're hinky, get backup, then pull them out.

    Once someone is out of a car, you have little control over them and they are no longer contained. I disagree with this author's points:

    1) It is much easier to watch three people inside a car and determine their hands are in view, than three people on the side of the road moving around. Remember the Texas Constable murdered by three men he allowed out of the car?

    2) The side of the road is not, "your world," the back of your squad car and station jail is. Until a suspect is properly searched and restrained it's up for grabs.

    3) What about the weapon(s) in their pockets and waistbands or the one on your hip they want to take away. We all know hands kill, whether they have a weapon in them at the time or not. If you are controlling the hands you should have some warning before a suspect can arm themself and have a chance to react (that means shoot him or at least get out of the line of fire).

    Staging yourself at your passenger door and allowing the driver to walk unobserved to you means his hands and waistband are invisible to you until he rounds the back of his car, allowing him plenty of time to arm himself or discard contraband.

    As far as allowing a driver back in the vehicle, that makes me want to scream. The article advocates taking the driver out of the car to remove him from proximity to any weapons in the passenger compartment. Why then would one allow the driver back into the passenger compartment where the weapons are???

    This approach gives the initiative to the crook. When I stop a car, I want to control every aspect I can. I keep people in a car until I have had a chance to look at them, their size, attitude, whatever before I pull them out. Calling drivers out robs officers of those valuable observations and gives the element of surprise and initiative to those who want to hurt us.

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    LCarvin

    about 7 years ago

    1222 Comments

    I can see pros and cons.....pro, officer safety.....con, the drunk you just pulled over staggers out into passing traffic *LAWSUIT* ....con, lone less reason for pc for search (i.e. the smell of marijuana, plainview)

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    Anonymous

    about 7 years ago

    I think its a great idea! The officer doing the traffic stop will/should have total control of the situation at all times. Also, from a tactical standpoint the officer will have some cover/protection if something happens and will be able to call for backup and possibly escape the situation if needed. Also, the officers vehicle could be used as a weapon in the worst case scenario. Lets syart thinking about the safety of our brothers/sisters in blue for once.

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    kross17750

    about 7 years ago

    4 Comments

    Keepin mind, the first time a motorist is struck by passing traffic, the Department willface a huge lawsuit. I would not recommend this for highway cops. Attention to detail, watching hands/traffic at all times, and a passenger-side aproach are the still the best ways to avert/survive an attack.

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    mtbonavy

    about 7 years ago

    190 Comments

    ok "notmeofficer" but...im not a veteran in the law enforcement field yet....but calling people out of the car and handcuffing them all together on a telephone pole doesnt exactly sound correct there....

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    wyl598

    about 7 years ago

    34 Comments

    I'VE BEEN IN PATROL 28 YEARS AND I WAS TRAINED TO APPROACH THE VEHICLE FROM THE DRIVERS SIDE AND NOT ALLOW THE DRIVER TO EXIT THEIR VEHICLE FOR OFFICER SAFETY. I'VE ALWAYS APPROACH THE DRIVERS SIDE AND STOPPED RIGHT BEHIND DOOR HANDLE, FORCING THE MOTORIST TO TURN TOWARDS ME. APPROACHING FROM THE PASSENGER SIDE GIVES THE MOTORIST A BIGGER TARGET.

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    KarenLee

    about 7 years ago

    3856 Comments

    As a citizen I really like this idea....On a deserted road! While I have the utmost faith in law enforcement officers, I tend to have to worry about other drivers on the road. So many lives have been lost because some stupid mook has to be all gawking when there is a traffic stop, and while I applaud the "move over" law, sometimes you just dont have the room. Somewhere down the line it will be a speeding driver who loses their life because of this. For the safety of all of you out there protecting me, I wish there was a simpler way of doing this.

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    Frank239

    about 7 years ago

    118 Comments

    I have been a LEO for 11 years and I was trained to approach a vehicle from the drivers side. For the last 5 years I have been using the passanger side approach. I feel more comfortable and find that the driver and pssangers are looking for me in their mirrors from the drivers area. I like the element of surprise that I have from the passanger side and I am able to see whats going on without them knowing. I have used the call-back but only if another officer was available to assist.

  • Kay_and_i_at_senior_move_up_day_max50

    TRAFFICCOP84

    about 7 years ago

    32 Comments

    in the state of Louisiana it is lawful to remove not only the driver from the vehicle but all passengers.

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