Too often routine contacts between police and civilians escalate tragically out of control. Remember, both you and the officer share a primary goal… to go home safely at the end of the day.
You may be a good, law-biding individual who would never harm another person. But, the officer does not know that. And, unfortunately, the officer’s duties often place the officer in contact with individuals, who do not respect the law, their fellow citizens or keeping the peace.
Here are seven smart tips on how to act when in contact with a law enforcement officer.
- Remain Calm. Take a deep breath! Avoid pointing, screaming, cursing, or yelling; never make aggressive gestures toward the officer. A smile could help here.
- Follow Instructions. Usually this has something to do with identification. Ladies! If your wallet’s in your bag, tell the officer before you plunge into it. Guys, your wallet’s in your back pocket, right? Don’t suddenly go for it. Tell the officer and follow the officer’s instructions on how to get it.
- Empty Your Hands. Put down any items in your hands, i.e., bags, jackets, keys, cell phones, etc.
- Keep Your Hands Visible At All Times. Please! Officers are trained to watch your hands. If instructed, raise your hands and spread your fingers.
- Avoid Quick Movements. Especially toward the officers.
- Do Not Lay Hands On The Officer. This should be obvious, but doesn’t seem to be for some. If you use force against an officer, the officer will use force to regain control of the situation. You will not win this fight.
- Weapons. Inform the officer immediately if you are carrying or have in your possession any type of weapon-especially hand guns and knives. Do not reach for them! Follow the officer’s instructions… slowly.
Remember! We all want to go home safely at the end of the day!