After state trooper is hospitalized during traffic stop, how can and do police stay safe
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - After a traffic stop ended with one state trooper sent to the hospital, we took a look at a local police department’s policies and procedures for when an officer pulls someone over.
Friday afternoon, a massachusetts state trooper was struck and dragged by a car they were trying to stop on the northbound side of I-91, near the rest stop in Holyoke.
According to police, as the driver fled the scene, the trooper was able to get free of the vehicle, sustaining non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect then crashed his car shortly after and ran into some nearby woods.
We wanted to know the proper proceedings for a traffic stop, so we checked with the Amherst Police Department.
Here is what we learned about their procedures:
-When stopping a traffic violator, each situation is individual, and sound judgment must be used for safety.
-When a vehicle is being stopped, officers activate their lights -- and should leave enough space between the vehicle being stopped and their cruiser. before an officer gets out of their cruiser, they alert dispatch of their location.
-If the driver gets out of the car, they should be told to return to it.
-When addressing the violator, officers should be professional and use a greeting such as:
“good morning/afternoon/evening, my name is officer___with the Amherst police department” and then explain the reason the person was pulled over.
-After the officer gathers needed information, they will make appropriate enforcement.
-Officers should also warn the driver to use caution when returning to traffic and the officer should wait for the violator to return to traffic if possible.
As for a high-risk stop, such as when the violator is known to be a felon or a serious threat to the officer or public:
-Cruiser lights remain on-- and at night-- all lights illuminate the stopped car
-If the vehicle is stopped for a serious felony - officers should instruct the vehicle to be turned off and keys dropped to the ground.
-Officers should instruct occupants to keep their hands in plain sight on top of their heads-- and wait for assistance unless it’s urgent.
The suspect in Friday’s incident on I-91 was taken into custody around 5:30 p.m. after an hours-long search.
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