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JulieHowe
03-28-2010, 11:50 AM
If the font is too big or awkward to read, just give me a holler and I'll edit it down to a '2' instead of '3'. My eyes are over 40 and I was squinting like hell to read my own writing with the smaller-sized font.


I have four questions about law enforcement procedure. The time period is 1974. The police are ordering a suspect out of the car at gunpoint. She's a fugitive wanted for questioning in the murder of a police officer in another state. The woman's young children are in the car with her. Since the charges are completely trumped up, she has no idea what's going on, and she's stunned, not reacting quickly enough to the orders she's being given to step out of the car. Here are my questions:


When the command to exit the car is given, is she told to step out of the car with her hands behind her back, up in the air, or behind her head?


Would she be ordered to back up x number of steps and get down on her knees or would she be told to lay on the ground?


How are the police going to get the kids, four, six and eight years old, out of the car?


In some real-life accounts I've researched, the officers in these situations make frequent use of certain swear words. A direct quote from a real event: "Police! Get your ----ing asses down, down, you ----ers! Get the f--- down now! I want to see your hands behind your back, now, now, now!"

How necessary is this kind of language for realism? I'm aiming for reality but not to make the cops look like a**holes - the arresting officers only know what they've been told. They have no way of knowing the charges against her are false, but they're taking her refusal to get out of the car as an act of non-cooperation.


As always, any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

shaldna
03-28-2010, 02:00 PM
Ok, I'm from Belfast, so I appreciate that this info might be a little different than oher countries etc. But this is what would happen here





When the command to exit the car is given, is she told to step out of the car with her hands behind her back, up in the air, or behind her head?

It would be 'where I can see them' which means usualy in the air. They would also be told to get out slowly



Would she be ordered to back up x number of steps and get down on her knees or would she be told to lay on the ground?

This depends on the situation. If she has a weapon she would be asked to drop it, if she's extremely violent/dangerous she could be asked to lay down. But they don't do that often. The officer speaking will have another officer behind her who would make the move then.



How are the police going to get the kids, four, six and eight years old, out of the car?

All police in NI are trained in child protection, however, depending on the circumstances and the ages of the children etc, they will prpbably have a child protection officer (a specialist police officer who deals with children) to come for the kids. If they are young enough (babies etc) they will be lifted out, if they are older then they will be spoken to and encouraged to come out themselves. The police don't like to traumatise children by forcing them out of these situations. It's much better to spend ten minutes talking a six year old out of a car than it is to lift them out.

The kids would then be taken to a family room at the station and relatives etc called while they try t work out what to do with the children.



In some real-life accounts I've researched, the officers in these situations make frequent use of certain swear words. A direct quote from a real event: "Police! Get your ----ing asses down, down, you ----ers! Get the f--- down now! I want to see your hands behind your back, now, now, now!"

Strangely, being one of the most violent cities in Europe, you won't ever hear police in Belfast talking like that. The only time they get aggressive is if met with agression or violence, and even then swearing and name calling is a no-no that will result in you recieving a disciplinary if someone makes a complaint.

I feel that often Hollywood sensationalises these things. If cops went in shouthing abuse and thorowing their weight around then they are no better than vigilantes. I guess it depends on the area they are from. In belfast it's definately a case of 'speak softly and carry a big gun'

Wayne K
03-28-2010, 03:57 PM
They usually want to see your hands, so you have to stick them outside the window. Then they'll open the door of the car themselves.

The profanity thing might have changed (I've been good for a while :D) , but there were always a few thrown in for good measure in New York.

jclarkdawe
03-28-2010, 05:09 PM
Realize that there is a lot of variation between departments in their training and style. And there's also variation between different officers.


If the font is too big or awkward to read, just give me a holler and I'll edit it down to a '2' instead of '3'. My eyes are over 40 and I was squinting like hell to read my own writing with the smaller-sized font.

I can see. Oh, Lord, I can see. Bless you. Bless you. For Lord, I can see. (Just my way of saying thank you.)


I have four questions about law enforcement procedure. The time period is 1974. The police are ordering a suspect out of the car at gunpoint. She's a fugitive wanted for questioning in the murder of a police officer in another state. The woman's young children are in the car with her. Since the charges are completely trumped up, she has no idea what's going on, and she's stunned, not reacting quickly enough to the orders she's being given to step out of the car. Here are my questions:

In 1974, the police would have less records available quickly, but in this case, the BOLO would probably have her criminal background. Is she wanted on an arrest warrant or just for questioning? Has she been labeled "armed and dangerous?" What was her reaction when she was lit up? Did she pull over to the side of the road or run? How did she pull over to the side of the road? Most police officers can tell the difference between confused and resistant.


When the command to exit the car is given, is she told to step out of the car with her hands behind her back, up in the air, or behind her head?

Depends upon the jurisdiction, but most want them in the air, fingers spread. But a lot of this is going to depend what she did while she was stopping the car. Was she reaching for the floor or the glove compartment as she was stopping? If so, they'll probably want her to stick her hands out the window.


Would she be ordered to back up x number of steps and get down on her knees or would she be told to lay on the ground?

Depends upon how the stop goes. Depends upon how comfortable the police feel. Depends upon how many officers are present. Depends upon the training.

How are the police going to get the kids, four, six and eight years old, out of the car?

After she's arrested, they'd deal with the kids.

In some real-life accounts I've researched, the officers in these situations make frequent use of certain swear words. A direct quote from a real event: "Police! Get your ----ing asses down, down, you ----ers! Get the f--- down now! I want to see your hands behind your back, now, now, now!"

A lot of officers I know are very offended by their image on shows like COPS. A lot of this is related to tension. And some of this relates to the departments. There are also racial and cultural issues that would be playing.

How necessary is this kind of language for realism? I'm aiming for reality but not to make the cops look like a**holes - the arresting officers only know what they've been told. They have no way of knowing the charges against her are false, but they're taking her refusal to get out of the car as an act of non-cooperation.

If they think she's intentionally ignoring their requests, they are probably going to get aggressive.

As always, any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

smcc360
03-28-2010, 05:38 PM
1974 was long before vehicle stop and extraction tactics were formalized. Most likely, you'd simply have the first guy who got to the car open her door and yank her out. The things you're referring to, like one guy designated to give verbal commands, 'walk backwards towards the sound of my voice', etc., didn't come along until much later.

You might find it interesting to read crime novels or watch cop movies from the '70s, to see what the popular image of law enforcement procedure was. I remember The Taking of Pelham 123, which deals with the NYPD responding to a group of hostage takers on a subway train who are armed with submachine guns. They sent in the 'Tactical Force', cops with bolt-action rifles, shotguns, M-16s, and 'even bulletproof vests', which was presented as a great innovation.

As for profanity, it often has a tactical purpose. The idea is to distract and surprise the subject. Instead of him thinking 'I can get to my gun when the cop has to glance down at the handle to open the door', I'd rather have him wondering 'Did the cop just call me a ****-****? Is he allowed to call me ****-****? Why are they all screaming ****-**** at me?'

JulieHowe
03-28-2010, 08:20 PM
AW members are wonderful and always helpful. Thank you. :)

shadowwalker
03-28-2010, 08:51 PM
You might want to contact the local police department's public liaison office, or public affairs office. I'm sure they'd have information - possibly even be able to put you in touch with a vet who would know first-hand about procedures back then.

RJK
03-28-2010, 09:02 PM
Please don't confuse Hollywood or TV with the real world. I attended the police academy in 1972, and learned how to conduct a Felony Stop.
Jim brought up a good point. Did the broadcast indicate she was armed and dangerous? Or, was she just wanted for questioning? big difference.
In either case, Calm, cool and collected is the order of the day. Not very dramatic, but that's the way cops are trained. It's not to say that's what they'll do.
The procedure is, assuming you have two cops, the cop passenger stands at the rear passenger side of the stopped car, where he can watch all the passengers and the driver. The driver cop approaches the stopped vehicle and stops behind the rear door, where he orders the driver to keep her hands in view and exit the car. He tries to speak in a calm but commanding voice. Depending on the armed and dangerous info, the passenger cop may have a shotgun aimed at the interior of the car, and the driver cop may have his gun drawn and aimed at the driver. Young children in the car would complicate the situation, calling for more caution and calm.

The language comes out when tempers are lost, not as a matter of course. It only inflames the situation.

As mentioned above, most cops can tell the difference between obstinacy and confusion, especially when dealing with a young mother.

After she made a left turn at a red light, I followed a woman with my roof lights on for over a mile, all the way to her driveway. She still asked if I was following her. When I told her what she did, she said "but you can make a... oops!" I didn't have the heart to write the ticket.

Canotila
03-28-2010, 09:20 PM
My little bro recently graduated from the Wa state police academy, and I got to be his guinea pig.

When he was practicing what you're describing, he'd sit in the squad car and turn on the megaphone and say, "Put your hands where I can see them". I held mine up. Then he said to open my door, so I used one hand to unlatch it and pushed it open with my foot. Then he said, "Step out of the vehicle. Keep your hands where I can see them." So I just kept them in the air. He repeated himself a lot.

Then he had me face the car and put my hands on the roof of the car. From there he handcuffed one wrist, pulled it behind me and handcuffed the other. That's their routine anyway, not sure if other states teach it differently, or if it was different in the 70s. I think swearing would depend on the department, individual officer, and level of stress. My brother has probably never sworn in his life, and I can't see him doing it just because he's stressed no matter what the situation. It's just not part of his vocabulary.

If she's wanted as an accessory for cop killing, the cops are going to be extremely agitated and nervous around her.

JulieHowe
03-28-2010, 11:28 PM
Please don't confuse Hollywood or TV with the real world. I attended the police academy in 1972, and learned how to conduct a Felony Stop.
Jim brought up a good point. Did the broadcast indicate she was armed and dangerous? Or, was she just wanted for questioning? big difference.
In either case, Calm, cool and collected is the order of the day. Not very dramatic, but that's the way cops are trained. It's not to say that's what they'll do.
The procedure is, assuming you have two cops, the cop passenger stands at the rear passenger side of the stopped car, where he can watch all the passengers and the driver. The driver cop approaches the stopped vehicle and stops behind the rear door, where he orders the driver to keep her hands in view and exit the car. He tries to speak in a calm but commanding voice. Depending on the armed and dangerous info, the passenger cop may have a shotgun aimed at the interior of the car, and the driver cop may have his gun drawn and aimed at the driver. Young children in the car would complicate the situation, calling for more caution and calm.

The language comes out when tempers are lost, not as a matter of course. It only inflames the situation.

As mentioned above, most cops can tell the difference between obstinacy and confusion, especially when dealing with a young mother.

After she made a left turn at a red light, I followed a woman with my roof lights on for over a mile, all the way to her driveway. She still asked if I was following her. When I told her what she did, she said "but you can make a... oops!" I didn't have the heart to write the ticket.


They're told she's armed and dangerous. I greatly appreciate the information. :) Thanks.