You may be wondering what to do when you get pulled over by police. People are worried about this, because of the many shootings of unarmed black people around the country. Ray Saxon, the Director for Georgia Public Safety Training Center: Basic Training Division, said there isn’t a specific script that officers have to follow during a traffic stop. Instead they have suggestions on how they should precede with a traffic stop. He said this is due to the many different circumstances a cop could be put in. Director Saxon explained that officers are taught to be reactive. He listed some tips on how a civilian should precede when they have been pulled over by an officer:
- Find somewhere safe to pull over and put your car in park
- Let the window down, so you can hear them better
- Listen to the officer
- Always keep your hands where the officer can see them, because officers are trained to follow the hands.
- Listen to the officer (Yes, this is the same as number three, but Director Saxon wanted to emphasize how important this is).
Director Saxon explained that compliance is key during traffic stops, and even if you believe the officer is in the wrong “the street is not the place to argue your case”. He said go through the court system. Director Saxon said, “If the officer is wrong he is wrong” and ” we have some that do make bad decisions”. They have to make split second decisions in situations that are constantly evolving. Director Saxon said he wishes he had a nice neat answer to keep all of the bad things from happening. He also stressed this is not a TV Drama, and what happens in thirty minutes on TV, may take years in real life.
Director Saxon is retired from the Albany Police Department, where he spent 23 years. He is in a training capacity now with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Where he trains public safety personal in the state. He has been with the State of Georgia for the past 22 years.
The following are police stations Grady Newsource contacted who did not speak with us:
- Athens Clarke County East Precinct ( On site and was told the Police Chief said he was in a meeting)
- Athens- Clarke County Police East Substation
- Athens Police Department West Substation
- Athens-Clarke County Police Department Downtown Substation
- UGA Police Department
- Regional Police Academy Athens/ Northeast Georgia Police Academy
- Jackson County Sheriffs Office
- Corporal Cindy O’ Barr
- Madison County Sheriff’s Department ( Deputy Arnold said I can only find out how a civilian should precede if I come into the station and speak with the Sheriff)
- Oconee County Sheriff’s Office
- Buckhead Community Improvement District
- Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council
*Twenty numbers were called within this list.
By: LaPorsche Thomas