Traffic Stop/Traffic Violation

Wrong Side of the Element of Surprise

 
As a proactive patrol officer on the midnight shift, I routinely used pretextual stops to make DWI and drug arrests. In my assigned area, I often parked on a side street with my lights off to monitor a four-way stop intersection on a state road. Traffic was infrequent on this road during the overnight hours as it passed through several miles of residential neighborhoods.

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Handgun Missed on Multiple Patdowns

 
An officer [with a local police department] conducted a traffic stop for a minor traffic violation. There were two occupants in the vehicle. Upon contact, the officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and was immediately backed up by a state trooper.

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Bystander Helps Officer Being Assaulted during DWI Stop

 
A patrol officer initiated a traffic stop for a possible DUI on a vehicle that he observed crossing the center line and swerving. When the officer questioned the driver and ordered her out of the vehicle, she refused to comply. At this time, the passenger also became argumentative with the officer.

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Vest Saves Officer during Traffic Stop

 
An officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for an observed traffic violation. The officer followed procedure and notified dispatch of his location and provided a description of the vehicle. The officer was unable to provide the dispatcher with a license plate number, but he reported that the plate was likely issued by the state of Ohio.

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Holster Retention Issue during Foot Pursuit of Armed Subject

 
A specialty unit officer was performing surveillance on violent gang members. One known subject left in a vehicle, and after officers observed traffic offenses (and confirmed the subject had a suspended license), an attempt to stop the subject was made. The vehicle/suspect refused to stop and fled for 6-8 blocks before the driver and passenger bailed out on foot.

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Failure to Use Headlights Almost Leads to Motorcycle Crash

 
I was working motorcycle enforcement during evening hours. I pulled over to assist another motor officer on a traffic stop. This was at a time when Kawasaki 1000 police motorcycles allowed officers to manually turn off headlights. I dimmed to parking lights so as not to illuminate the other officer during driver contact.

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Motorist Nearly Hits Officer Conducting Traffic Stop

 
A fellow officer was on a nighttime traffic stop on a heavily traveled road when a vehicle failed to move over or slow down and nearly struck her.

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Maintain Situational Awareness on “Routine” Traffic Stops

 
I made a traffic stop of a local resident and determined subject had an active warrant for his arrest. While attempting to make the arrest, I was so zoned in on the subject, I placed myself with my back to the highway.

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Failure to Search Subject during Vehicle Search

 
After arresting a warrant subject from the driver’s seat, deputy 1 took the arrestee to a patrol car for search incident to arrest. Deputy 2 & 3 remained with the violator’s vehicle in order to remove passengers and search the vehicle.

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Van Nearly Strikes Officer during Nighttime Traffic Stop

 
I conducted a traffic stop for a suspected DUI. As I was interacting with and evaluating the driver early in the contact (and with the driver still in the car), I heard a vehicle approaching from behind.

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