Editor's Note — PoliceOne sends our sympathies to the injured officers and their families in light of this tragic event.
Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar lead instructor, Dave Smith, said that officers are always taught that traffic stops are among the most dangerous thing you can do. The reason is three-fold: 1) You expect compliance (guard may be down); 2) You don't know who you've stopped (occupant has one-up on you); 3) You're in a high-risk environment (can't control what is going on around you, e.g., drunk drivers)
"It's hard to maintain the mental peak that you need in every stop, because most drivers are 'yes people,'" Smith said.
In 2005, an FBI report confirmed that the majority of line-of-duty officer deaths took place during a traffic stop. "The statistics say it is time to instill training that prevents officer complacency," Smith said. "It's not just the training officer's or your supervisor's job, it is your job to prepare yourself to be at your peak, regardless of how many times you go on a call."