How non-compliance during traffic stops impacts officer safety
Police research: 1,000 cops address non-compliance during traffic stops
By: Nancy Perry, Editor, Police1
Traffic stops and vehicle contacts put police officers at a tactical disadvantage, with officer safety further compromised when faced with non-compliant drivers. To better understand officers’ experiences, perceptions, training and tactics for non-compliance during traffic stops, Police1 surveyed more than 1,000 patrol officers.
SURVEY METHODOLOGY AND RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS
Police1 developed a 29-question survey, open from April 22, 2021, to May 4, 2021. A total of 1,036 responses were collected using a Microsoft Form.
Respondents were fairly evenly divided regarding location and years served in law enforcement. Of those surveyed, 24% serve a rural response area, 42% serve a suburban response area and 34% serve an urban response area.
A third of respondents had 10-20 years of law enforcement experience and a quarter had 21-30 years of experience; a third had nine years or less on the job and 10% had more than 30 years on the job.
TRAFFIC STOP ACTIVITY
We asked respondents to rank the most common reason for traffic stops in their jurisdiction. Not surprisingly, especially since COVID-19 lockdowns, speeding was overwhelmingly listed as the number one reason for traffic stops at 43% followed by equipment violations at 24%. Only 13% of respondents rated distracted driving as the number one reason for traffic stops, pretext stops and hazardous driving were rated number one by only 9% and 7% of respondents respectively.