I have a special thanks to start out our report this week. I want to personally thank each and every man and woman who has served our great nation in the armed forces. I wish I could shake each and every one of their hands, and say thank you for all you have done. Yet, with Memorial Day, we remember those who have fallen in the service of our great nation and the ultimate sacrifice that they have made. We must also thank the families of those who serve and have served, who have fallen in the service of this great nation. We sometimes forget what has really paid for our freedom throughout the history of our nation and it was not money or gold. It was the blood and tears of Americans who gave their all to their country and their fellow soldiers. God bless America, God bless our veterans, both the living and the fallen, and God bless all their families. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.
We have a lot to talk about this week, so let's just jump right in. I have heard a lot about traffic stops and have written some about them in the past. I have stated that traffic stops are one of the greatest tools that law enforcement have to use in the proactive fight to curb crime and they are. Yet with every good tool, there are good and bad side effects that come with it. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss some of these aspects that come into play during a traffic stop.
No one likes being stopped and no one likes being told that they were doing something wrong, like speeding or running a stop sign. It's just part of being an adult. Once we get older, it just goes against our grain as adults and Americans to be told that we are doing something wrong. I'm the same way. When working traffic, officers have a lot of different things going on inside their heads at the same time. I hear a lot of complaints that officers are not very friendly, and sometimes this is true, yet sometimes it is perception. There is no excuse for being rude, but just because an officer doesn't shake your hand, or gets onto you for getting out of the vehicle doesn't necessarily mean that he is being rude. Officers go through a lot of intensive training and develop certain habits when working with people. Yet, each officer develops his or her own style in some form or fashion. Yes, there is the standard seven step approach taught at every academy, yet those are the basic rules for each stop, not necessarily the exact way we do it.
The number one thing that officers think about is our safety. Like I have said before, working traffic is like fishing, you never know exactly what's on the end of the hook until you reel it in. Oh yeah, Larry, the hook is the thing that goes in the fish's mouth and helps you to catch it. When you stop a vehicle a lot of things are being processed by the officer as the stop is developing. Things like checking out on the radio, watching for oncoming traffic, what is the violator doing when stopping, is there more than one in the vehicle, are they exiting the vehicle, is my patrol unit positioned right and so on. All of these things happen in the first few seconds prior to getting the vehicle stopped. The most dangerous thing that law enforcement does is working traffic. Yes, domestics are very dangerous, but to me so many officers are getting killed today and it has to do with traffic. Officers are turning into oncoming traffic to contact the violator and getting hit and killed. Officers are getting struck and killed by moving vehicles driven by people trying to see what is going on and then they are getting attacked by the violators themselves. This happens every day all over the United States.
Now you can see why they might be a little on edge at first. I can't go over everything today, but here are some things that you can do to make the officers more comfortable during his/her approach. First, don't jump out of the vehicle and start back to their patrol unit. Nine times out of ten, that will bring on a quick and aggressive response from the officers and start everything off badly. If you would just remain in the vehicle and the officer will let you know if and when he needs you out of the vehicle. The next thing is your hands. We are taught to watch people's hands because the hands can and will kill you. When we are approaching a vehicle, we are watching for movement from the driver and/or passengers. The first thing a driver wants to do is dig for their driver's license and insurance. What we see is someone reaching across the car or what appears to be under a seat and moving around a lot. We're pretty sure we know what you are doing, but we don't know and that is what gets officers killed, the unknown. The safest thing and the best way to keep an officer feeling safe is to just keep still and keep your hands where we can see them. You can keep them on the steering wheel or in plain view. Once the officer is up there and has made contact and asked you for your information, then you can let him know that your insurance is in the glove box and he is prepared for that movement. Small things like this can keep a traffic stop from starting off wrong.
We can't cover everything today, but will hit it again. I want to ensure you that it is a proven fact that traffic enforcement is a vital tool for law enforcement in protecting our communities. If you look at a department which is not working traffic, you will see more thefts, burglaries, vandalism and general all around mischief occurring. Traffic is an excellent tool for intercepting and curtailing these types of crimes because criminals know you are out. Traffic enforcement assists with alcohol related crimes as well as narcotics interdiction acting as a deterrent in these areas. Yes, traffic stops generate some complaints, but that is expected with a proactive law enforcement agency and is something we have to look at in the larger picture known as community policing.
Well, it was a great holiday and we came through it with flying colors. The jail is filling up again, but not so much because of the holiday. The city's dance was very successful and all of the fishing camps were full this weekend as well as the state park. We had a few minor accidents but no fatalities and that is an answered prayer. Several citations were issued for speeding, but we were down from last year. The jail report is in the paper and we are already looking forward to the summer and man, is it here. Please feel free to call us and help put us in the right place at the right time to better serve our community. Contact us at 325-372-5432 or 5551 and once again thank you for your support and/or prayers. Oh yeah, our children are out of school and playing everywhere. Let's watch those stop signs and slow down some. Thanks again for all your assistance.