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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.


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    TRAFFICCOP84

    about 7 years ago

    32 Comments

    i have been using this method for approximately 10 years. I am a traffic officer and I have learned that this is the safest approach of all. I train new officers that ride with me this method. there are smart criminals that do want to kill police officers. I have seen photos of a shot gun made in the driver side door with the barrel pointing at officer when the driver side door opens.

    this is a great article.

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    NikkiMae

    about 7 years ago

    2 Comments

    i am not an officer but will be in the future but im afraid to step out of my car as a citizen. most people think that when u become a police officer that its alot easier to do. but when u get called to a residence or u do a traffic stop u have no ideal how much fear u have! when u step out of that vehicle u have to imagine every possible thing! because every posible thing that could go wrong will go wrong!!!!!!!! u have to have secure the scene and make sure when u step out of that car that u have thought of every way u can avoid getting injuried and the saftey of u and ur responding officers and they car or the person u pull over!

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    chexter

    about 7 years ago

    12 Comments

    I am all for the safety of our police officers, but as a citizen and not an officer, I would be hesitant to step outside of my vehicle. I have never been approached in this manner (speeding tickets) and with the rise of the "fake" cops that are out there, masquerading as police officers, there would seem to be concern, especially for women, who seem to be targeted more so with the fictitious policemen.

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    Beef_stew

    about 7 years ago

    170 Comments

    Like the story says, could be good, could be bad

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    gpd3789

    about 7 years ago

    2988 Comments

    There's nothing wrong with this technique if your trained for it from the get go. However, I have trained Officer's under me to approach the passenger's side with caution, tap on the rear of the vehicle as you approach the door, keeping constant visual on the driver. As for at night always use your overhead takedowns, if more than one occupant call for back up and wait for their arrival, then proceed. There will always be new training for Officer safety on traffic stops, but' some of the old timer's will continue to use the old method, and the 10-18 year veteran along with the rookie Officer will train in new appraoches and add a little something different when they review their tapes.

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    dennisballentine

    about 7 years ago

    14 Comments

    Like everything else you have to look at the totality of the circumstances and then use the most strategic tactic for the situation.

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    dtamash

    about 7 years ago

    22 Comments

    A couple of things about this technique...as far as calling the driver out of the vehicle, when I stop the car I walk around to the passengers side and call the driver out from there on the PA...you can see the confusion on their face when they get out of their vehicle and look at the drivers side of my patrol car and don't see anyone there, it takes them several seconds to realize that you are on the passengers side it gives you a lot of time to evaluate and size up the driver. My second comment regards a back up officer; the way my zone partner and I would work it is if you are the back up you walk up to the car after the driver has been called out and now you are free to look into the car. This works especially well if the car is only occupied by the driver (I don't really recommend this for a car that is loaded down with three or more people), you would be suprised how much contraband you find on the drivers side seat where the driver just vacated, since they were trying to hide it by sitting on it.

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    mike911

    about 7 years ago

    48 Comments

    Good idea!

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    mike911

    about 7 years ago

    48 Comments

    Good idea!

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    babayo

    about 7 years ago

    4 Comments

    this is a very sound and logical approach to the policing of people on the street. it will reduce the harzards faced by law enforcement officers

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    HonorCourage23

    about 7 years ago

    44 Comments

    This sounds like a good tactic. I have never seen it done before but I can picture how it would be done. I can see when this type of stop would be safer for the officer. Im always open to new ideas and I like this one.

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    eagleone

    about 7 years ago

    2 Comments

    This is an excellent tool to keep in your toolbox of tactical scenarios. This is one of many ways that I was taught at the Northwestern Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. The instructors were excellent and if anyone had the oportunity to attend the NILEA I highly recommend it.
    This is a great way to increase the odds of any traffic stop, especially with multiple occupants.

    Officer R. Post
    Burns Harbor Police Department

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    Anonymous

    about 7 years ago

    I've done this for about 8 years. It's a great tool and has saved my life on at least one occassion. It puts the suspect in my world instead of me in his. I stopped a car with 4 males in it one night. The driver had weed and ammo on him. When it was all said and done, the rear driver's side passenger had an assault rifle under a blanket laying across his lap ready to shoot me if I had stood behind the driver's door to conduct my business.

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    ESUTRUCK4

    about 7 years ago

    28 Comments

    Maybe under certain conditions for the stop I might agree i.e. serperate the occupants for veracity in there story etc. This quite often was the case when I worked in a robbery -burglary unit. But none of us felt even remotely comfortable with it. Too many things can go wrong as it is let alone letting the driver out instead of confined to the car. But like anything else the way you train is how your gonna react. And if it works for you-great.
    Working midnights in a two man truck my partner and I have a simple but effective distraction technique. The pass. side Officer advances just a little quicker than the driver side Officer. As the driver side Officer comes up on the left rear quarter panel my partner gives a tap on the right side of the car. Every single stop all the occupants break there necks to look toward the right rear. (If they don't turn their heads my parther breaks the right rear window with his PR-24 to get their attention....just kidding). It gives the driver side Officer a couple of seconds to scan the interior. It throws the occupants off there game as everyone always expects to be approached from the driverside. Its is cool to see how different techniques are untilized throughout the Nation. Stay Safe......

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    hpd29yrz

    about 7 years ago

    62 Comments

    I read the article as well as the comments. Good thoughts, and none of the BS I see on other comment sections! As for this techinque, as others have said, "its a just one of a number of things you can do depending on the exact details of the stop". After many years on the job, I can honestly say this is NOT new. We did this years ago, but almost always on a 2 officer stop and with a driver who we believed was a potential problem. We'd station the second officer by the cruiser passenger door, and call the driver back to the rear of his car. We'd have the driver stand between the cruiser and his car, facing his car. The first officer would be on the suspect driver's left side and conduct the interview. Now, that's OK with 2 officers, but if you're by yourself, I'd hesitate to order the driver out. He's outside now and can run, or attack you easier. Plus how will you order him back into the car??? With your attention on him, what are the passengers doing? At least if they are all in the car, you are looking at one target area. Lastly, what does the community accept as acceptable police behavior? Thank God most of the stops we make are on law abiding people who stepped on the gas too hard. As such, they will accept certain behavior neccessary from their police. If they believe they are being "treated like criminals" they will turn in complaints, or if they don't, they will have a very negative attitude toward the police because of this perceived mis-treatment. Just something to think about. "BE SAFE OUT THERE"

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