Ask the Chief
It seems you can't go 24 hours without hearing a negative media report regarding a Police Officer. These reports are followed by a wide range of comments and opinions regarding the law and how people should respond to officers.
Some of these opinions are good but many are not. It’s my hope that you will read this and have a better understanding as to how to have positive contact with an officer. If you are involved in any type of law enforcement contact:
1. Be polite and courteous. Officers will treat you the way you treat them.
2. Follow the instructions given by the officer. If you disagree with anything the officer is doing, politely ask them if you must comply but by no means refuse. The law is complicated and you may not understand what is and is not legal. It is always better to comply and complain later than to refuse and run the risk of violating a law you may not be aware of or understand.
3. Before doing anything ask permission. "My identification is in my purse can I get it out?" “My insurance card is in the glove box, may I get it?" Doing things without being instructed to do them, especially reaching for items, can be seen by officers as dangerous. People hide weapons and reach for them so before you move, ask the officer for permission.
4. You are legally required to identify yourself and failing to do so can get you arrested.
5. Officers have the legal authority to ask a driver to exit the vehicle.
If you disagree, follow my earlier advice of complying now and complain later. 6. When you think the contact is over, ask if you may leave. In all of the articles, I have read and videos that I have watched, the biggest mistake made by officers and people is in failing to communicate clearly and not being respectful.
If you follow these simple suggestions, you greatly increase your chances of having positive contact with an officer.