Do Our Cops Call Out All Traffic Stops?January 11th, 2007 by josh farley
There was a tragic story out of Tennessee last Saturday: it concerned a highway patrolman that had pulled over a car on a dark road late in the evening.
When Calvin Jenks, 24, leaned into the car to check for drugs, he was shot point-blank in the head, according to a story by tennessean.com.
The article by tennessean.com also examines the policy for Tennessee troopers — one that states it is not mandatory for them to call in to dispatchers when making traffic stops.
Jenks apparently did not call in when he made his.
That got me thinking about our local policies.
Brian George, trooper spokesman for the Washington State Patrol, said that troopers are required to call out traffic stops, though the rule to do so was adopted only recently.
Scott Wilson, deputy spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, said that while his office’s policy and procedures manual is undergoing some changes, paragraph 7.01.04 (E) applies:
“Answer your radio promptly. When leaving the car, sign out giving your location and a telephone number. Monitor your portable radio at all times unless prevented by the circumstances of the call or contact.”
“Deputies know what the course of instruction is at the basic law enforcement academy about traffic stops,” Wilson said, “and what is driven home to student deputies while they are in a field training status (is) call out traffic stops! That is a major officer safety factor.”
Wilson added that the basic information deputies radio to dispatchers is:
Stop location. This typically means the road / street / highway name together with some other reference point, such as a cross street or an easily recognizable landmark, ie: business parking lot, or in front of a known building, etc. When nothing else is readily available, use the block number.
License plate number of the vehicle being stopped and, if feasible, a brief vehicle description, ie: maroon-colored Dodge truck.
Any other unusual circumstances that the deputy feels should be made known to the dispatcher and to others who monitor that radio channel, i.e.: driver’s actions, multiple occupants, someone acting suspiciously, vehicle believed to be stolen, etc.