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.

Officer Nearly Struck while Running to Stop Fight in Progress

While directing traffic at a sporting event, officers observed a fight breaking out across a busy 5-lane road. Instinct kicked in to get to the fight and stop it. The two officers ran across the street through traffic.

Almost Struck during Traffic Control at Crash Scene

I was directing traffic around a crash scene. An ambulance was partially blocking the travel lane. I did not have a traffic vest on and I was in a dark uniform. It was dark out and it was snowing.

Armed Subject Hides from Officers during Foot Pursuit

Two armed suspects robbed an individual and stole the victim’s vehicle. A patrol officer located the vehicle being driven on a city roadway and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver refused to stop, and a vehicle pursuit ensued.

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.

Suspended Driver Shoots Officer During Traffic Stop

This incident occurred in May 1995 at 0230 in the morning. I received a radio call about a person at a [diner] who refused to pay their bill. Initial contact with the subject suggested he was very timid, and the manager just wanted him to be put out.

Technology and K-9 Save Deputy During Ambush Attack

A K-9 deputy observed a suspicious vehicle parked at a rest stop. The vehicle’s lights were turned off, and one person was sitting in the driver’s seat. As the deputy approached the vehicle, two individuals came out of the nearby woods and approached the deputy.

Accidental Use of Live Rounds

An officer was dispatched for a subject behaving erratically near a school, possibly armed with a knife. The responding officer was less-lethal trained (a 12 gauge shotgun, painted a different color, but capable of firing 12 gauge rounds). Upon arrival of the officer, the subject fled, and the officer tried to use his less-lethal shotgun on the subject.

Near Collision Between Police Helicopter and Drone

A state law enforcement officer was flying a helicopter over a major state highway at night in search for a stolen vehicle. While the pilot was searching, the pilot noticed a red light appear in front of the helicopter’s cockpit window.

Missed Gun on Seat during Routine Traffic Stop

Routine traffic stop—I asked the driver for his license, registration, and insurance and returned to my patrol car. Upon running the driver’s license, dispatch advised me of warrants for the subject. I requested backup and waited for another officer to arrive.