Print

Training >> Browse Articles >> Officer Safety

+44

Safe Driver Call Backs

Richard B. Weinblatt

The call-back can be done from the driver’s side area, although most police trainers are advocating a quick walk around the back of the patrol vehicle and doing so from the passenger side front door area. By conducting the driver call back in this manner, you are guiding him away from the traffic that is buzzing by in the roadway and towards the front right corner of your cruiser.

Positioning the person during the stop’s interaction is crucial as the front corner of the car gives you a natural barrier that could protect you and buy you time. When the person comes towards the front of your car, you can move up slightly to be by the front right tire.

Advocates like this as they have the physical barrier. A slight fall back and officers are within reach (and cover) of the passenger compartment and its in-car computer and radio systems. They also have access to shotgun and other weaponry if that is needed.

Some critics of this method lament the distance from your patrol vehicle’s driver’s area. This could be crucial if the traffic stop target decides to drive off before you change position and conduct the driver call-back. Critics also criticize the apparent lack of ability to look into the subject’s car and see what the plain view doctrine could produce.

One way to deal with the need for plain view doctrine curiousness is to call the driver back and ask him to bring his driver’s license. Once you’ve had your meeting at the front of your car, you know with whom you are dealing, and you have the license in your possession, you can request that he go back to his car to retrieve registration and proof of insurance – mandatory financial responsibility documents.

When he heads back to his vehicle, you should be right behind him. This tactic gives you the opportunity to see everything he is doing. This approach also protects you from any attack from the vehicle while doing the walk up.

There are many advantages to conducting vehicle stops this third and relatively new method. As with all police tactics, no one size fits all. This new traffic stop trend should be yet another option on your tool belt of choices.


+44
  • P1000089_max50

    ymakhandy68

    almost 7 years ago

    66 Comments

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

  • L_6c41d390688c2e96b0d11c8e92940695_1__max50

    rtuller

    almost 7 years ago

    10 Comments

    I like this approach. Thank you

  • 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

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Skip

    almost 7 years ago

    8 Comments

    I learned something today; THANKS

  • Flag_max50

    scvanlee

    almost 7 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.

  • 100_1981_3__max50

    LCarvin

    almost 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)

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kross17750

    almost 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.

  • Matt_thebeau_max50

    mtbonavy

    almost 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....

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    wyl598

    almost 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.

  • Flowers_20_234__max50

    KarenLee

    almost 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.

  • Public-safety-patch-1_200_229_s_max50

    Frank239

    almost 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

    almost 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.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.