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If an officer stops me

Here are some tips to minimize your stress and anxiety during your contact with the police and at the same time give you some insight into the concerns and procedures of the officers.

In all police encounters:

  • Avoid making sudden movements (for your wallet, into your coat, toward your waistband, etc.) until you have informed the officer of your intention to do so and the officer has said it's okay.
  • Do not carry weapons (real or otherwise) or even joke about having a  weapon on your person.
  • Do not touch the police officer or violate his or her personal safety zone (six feet).
  • Remain calm and avoid being argumentative. If you are uncooperative and refuse to answer reasonable questions, the officer is likely to become more suspicious and the encounter will probably last much longer than necessary.
  • Comply first, then you may seek an explanation from the officer or the officer's supervisor later.
NOTE: The Northern Kentucky University Police Department does not condone police misconduct of any type. In our experience, we have learned that those negative feelings are often a result of not knowing the reason(s) an officer has made certain requests or acted in a certain manner. Unfortunately, demands on a patrol officer do not always permit time for explanations at the time you are stopped. Hopefully, the information presented here will give you an understanding of police procedures and let you know what to expect from a police officer if you are stopped.