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Improving officer safety at traffic stops

To avoid slipping into a “routine” during your traffic stops, one thing to consider is having a multitude of “tools” in the toolkit, using the one at each stop which makes the most sense

We repeat it over and over again: “There is no such thing as a ‘routine’ traffic stop.” But do we really listen to those words? Do we really listen to that inner officer safety voice? Or have the tactics we use become “routine?” Humans are creatures of habit and although we may not take the suspect for granted, have the tactics we use at our traffic stops become, in fact, routine?

A number of articles have been written — and even some informal studies have been conducted — on approaching the vehicle on the right side. Some officers swear by this tactic and always approach the violator’s vehicle using the “right side approach.” When it comes to officer safety, this tactic has some valid points. Particularly:

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