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If Approached or Stopped by a Police Officer

  1. Keep your hands where the officer can see them and don’t put them in your pockets, or below the steering wheel.
  2. Follow the officer’s instructions.
  3. Speak to the officer with the same level of respect that you would expect from the officer.
  4. Remain calm and do not escalate the situation.
  5. Do not touch the officer as this could be interpreted as an aggression towards the officer’s safety.
  6. Do not run as it may imply that you think you are guilty of something and the officer will likely chase you.
  7. Tell the officer if you have a weapon and do not reach for it. Tell the officer if you have a weapon and if you do, do not reach for it.
  8. If the officer has reason to believe that you are armed, then they have a right to pat you down for weapons to ensure everyone’s safety.
  9. The officer’s questions sometimes are to clarify information and are oft not accusations of wrongdoing. To be safe decline to speak to the officer other than your name unless that might incriminate you.
  10. Your answers should be factual (if you should choose to speak with them) and to to the best of your knowledge, as lying to an officer about a serious crime may be illegal and have serious consequences.
  11. The officer will probably conduct a warrant check and proper ID will speed up this process.
  12. Your cooperation will/may greatly reduce the time the officer contacts you.