NORTHPORT, Ala. (WBRC) - Northport Police Chief Gerald Burton says every traffic stop does not have end with an arrest or something worse.
“I thought this was something great to have here, especially with the climate of everything that’s going on now with traffic stops and involvement with police officers. I think this is good to kind of ease that with these young drivers,” Burton said.
He hopes the department’s new “Teens and Traffic Stops” program shows young drivers how to react if they’re pulled over.
That experience could better prepare them how to answer an officer’s questions and present documentation during a traffic stop.
“Is it safe to say the less amount of time an officer spends on a traffic stop, the less likely it could take a wrong turn?" WBRC asked Chief Burton. "Absolutely,” he responded.
Ali Mankey, a mother of three children not old enough to drive, remembers what the police officer assigned to her school told students about being stopped by police.
“The first thing that determines how a traffic stop is going go is how they react. Like if their answer is yes sir, no sir, He’s like I’m not going to sit there and like pull them out of their car and all that stuff. But he was like if they jump out, then it’s going to escalate,” she explained.
Burton said officers should identify themselves and explain why they stopped the car.
The driver should identify themselves and have documentation about them and their vehicle.
“It’s not a big deal to get pulled over. If you get pulled over do your part, we’ll do our part and everybody will go home safely.”
The first class in the course is already full. The second course is set for November 12. You can register by emailing email@example.com.