Interacting with Officers

Interacting with Police

  • Keep your hands where the officer can see them and don’t put them in your pockets.
  • Follow the officer’s instructions.
  • Remain calm and do not escalate the situation.
  • Speak to the officer with the same level of respect that you expect from the officer.
  • Do not touch the officer as this could be interpreted as a sign of aggression.
  • Do not run as this may imply that you think you are guilty of something.
  • Tell the officer if you have a weapon and do not reach for it.
  • If the officer has the right to believe you are armed, then they have a right to pat you down for weapons to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • The officer’s questions are to clarify information and are not an accusation of wrongdoing.
  • Your cooperation will greatly reduce the time the officer contacts you.

What to do when stopped

  • Slow down and pull to the right or onto a side street.
  • Notify the officer if you have a CPL or a weapon in the vehicle.
  • Spotlights are flashlights are used to illuminate the scene for everyone’s safety, not to intimidate you.
  • Do not exit your vehicle and wait for the officer.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Tell passengers to sit quietly with their hands visible.
  • Communicate your actions to the officer so they know what you are doing.
  • You must provide your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance if requested by the officer.
  • If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before reaching for them.
  • If asked to exit the vehicle follow the officer’s instructions.
  • There is a legal process to challenge the ticket if you are issued a ticket. Debating the ticket on the side of the road will not achieve results.
  • The ticket contains information on how to exercise your right of fighting a ticket.
  • Your car can be searched with your consent or if the officer has probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in the car.