Security, Law and Policing learn traffic stop protocols
A lesson in police safety: traffic stops
A car rolled through a stop sign without braking. Two officers in a patrol vehicle pulled the car over. The regular traffic stop quickly turned into a dangerous situation when they discovered that the passenger had a gun.
This was a simulated situation for students in the Security, Law and Police class at Southern Westchester BOCES. It was an example used to demonstrate appropriate tactics when pulling over a vehicle, as well as to remind the students that anything can happen at any time.
Officers Stephen Ellroodt and Danny Sunagawa from the Community Affairs division of the Greenburgh Police Department visited the class on March 11. They reviewed material with students in preparation for the upcoming SkillsUSA competition, which enables students to compete with other career technical students throughout ther region. Students are judged on specific tasks or skills and have an opportunity to compete at states and then at the national level.
The two officers showed students how to conduct a routine traffic stop and offered tips on how to handle the situation, no matter what happens.
Officer Ellroodt asked students how they felt; after volunteers had demonstrated how officers should exit their own vehicle and approach a car they had pulled over.
During a second run-through of the scenario, circumstances changed when the student-officer approached the passenger side noticed a gun in the vehicle. Suddenly, the student-officefs quickly backed away from the vehicle, drew their own weapons and gave forceful instructions to those in the car. The passenger with the weapon cooperated and dropped it out of the car window, allowing the officers to approach the vehicle safely.
“When you approach the car, touch the car to leave your fingerprints,” Officer Ellroodt said.
Teacher Ray Sulla reminded students to use an authoritative voice and speak loudly with conviction.
“You have to mean business,” he said. “Just by hearing your voice, they will know that you are serious.”
The practice session facilitated by the officers will benefit students in the SkillsUSA competition taking place the week of March 22, said Mr. Sully, especially as they will be tested on DWI traffic stops
Earlier in the day, Officers Ellroodt and Sunagawa had shared a PowerPoint presentation with students, reviewing a cop's duties and responsibilities. The pair have worked with Mr. Sully for years and often visit the Center for Career Services to help his students.