What To Do When Stopped By A Police Officer
Our Officers Are Committed To Your Safety
Your safety and civil rights are important to each and every police officer. At the Lakeway Police Department, we are committed to working with you to ensure every encounter you have with one of our officers is as positive as possible.
Why do Police Officers stop people?
It is important to remember there are many reasons why you might be stopped by a police officer. Whatever the reason, your cooperation is a vital part of the experience. Police officers are trained to identify and investigate violations of local, state and federal laws. Every situation is different.
Police officers are highly trained and committed to protecting citizens. If you get stopped by an officer, remember that he or she:
- Is recording the interaction for your protection and ours.
- Does not intend to offend you.
- Usually does not have any previous knowledge of you.
- May not be stopping you for the same reason you think.
- Is trained to remain in a position that enhances his or her safety, and the safety of others.
Here are a few reasons for which you may be stopped by a Police Officer:
• The officer observed a violation of the law.
• You appear to need assistance.
• You are in an area where a crime just occurred.
• You may be a possible witness to a crime.
• You may fit the description of a suspect.
• You may have been identified as a possible suspect or witness.
Important things you can do when stopped by a Police Officer:
- Follow the officer’s instructions; if unclear, please ask.
- Keep your hands visible to the officer.
- Make slow movements.
- Tell the officer if you have a weapon (knife, gun, etc.) and where it is located.
- Remain calm and try not to be argumentative.
- Remain seated in the vehicle; do not get out of the vehicle unless instructed to do so.
- When it’s dark outside, turn on the interior light prior to the officer approaching.
- Give the officer your driver’s license and vehicle registration upon request.
- Do not reach under the seat or into the glovebox if not asked to do so.
What to do if you believe the officer was unprofessional or disrespectful and you wish to file a complaint:
• Follow their instructions; this is not the time to argue.
• Ask for their supervisor’s name.
• Note the officer’s car number and call as soon as the officer leaves.
• File a complaint by visiting: Compliments & Complaints
What to do if you wish to compliment the officer?
If you feel the officer did a great job and want to compliment them, visit Compliments & Complaints.