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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To Reduce Bias, Some Police Departments Are Rethinking Traffic Stops

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

Wydra says officers can use these stops to look for things like guns and drugs. But if an officer finds one illegal gun in 20 stops, is that effective?

"I just don't know," Wydra says. "And I think that's part of the debate here on this topic and, really, in the country. Are these stops worth it?"

There's also another question: Are they fair?



Anonymous said... many of us still use our cell phones, don't fasten our seat belts.....etc. etc. etc. The police should pull over violators....if they find 1 gun in 20.....then that's one they got off the street. If they have reasonable suspension in their mind then "I feel" they should use the technicality in order to check out their suspension. I know many will be pissed but I'm ok with it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should only enforce the law on hard-working, Republicans.

Anonymous said...

How about some Common Law?

Anonymous said...

When it comes to illegal guns, many of which are stolen and being transported by a person prohibited, 1 in 20 is worth the effort. And the equipment repairs dictated by the stop keep us safer in smaller ways.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious?

Worth the effort?

Is it worth violating everyone's civil liberties?

Do we have no privacy from the government?

Anonymous said...

Some people love being slaves to the machine.
Take more of my freedoms.
Please frisk me.
Taze me.
Violate my rights.
Tell me what to do.
Where to stand.
How to act.
What to put into my body.

Geez. Get a friggin' life 11:46

Anonymous said...

Basically he's telling his officers to not do their jobs. Traffic violations are violating the law no matter how minor. If he feels like that the town should just do away with their police force & save the money.

Anonymous said...

timothy mcveigh was stopped because one of those silly vehicle violations. Plenty of other felons were caught with them as well. If we decide it's not worth it to do that anymore, fine, but take the laws off the books. Don't make it so the 'good guys' have to pay for inspections, etc while the criminals don't bother because they know the cops won't do anything.

Anonymous said...

July 26, 2016 at 4:22 PM

boy they have you trained well

Anonymous said...

Set the revenue question aside.

Authorizing cops to stop and warn/cite/etc. for equipment issues provides some level of protection for other motorists. If the brake lights don't work following motorists may cause an unnecessary accident. So there is a benign and beneficial reason.

Add to this the propensity for bad guys to operate cars with visible issues (and good guys too). So the justified stop provides a bonus in the form a chance to find: an unlicensed driver, a suspended driver, a revoked driver, a driver under the influence who is a fugitive, has a warrant while lacking insurance, actual registration.

Just as people make the point (accurately) that criminals don't obey gun laws they don't give a hoot about motor vehicle laws either.

Hope this police chief thinks it through and continues to police.

Anonymous said...

Add to this the propensity for bad guys to operate cars with visible issues (and good guys too).

You are being redundant.

Anonymous said...

The police should leave us alone unless someone is hurt or property is damaged.
Then there is a crime.

Anonymous said...

Good forbid you have an air freshener shaped like a Pine tree on your mirror! Gotta check that guy for guns and dope! Smdh! Again I say! It's not about anything else but a reason to engage! You people have allowed this pettiness! Soon it will be any reason to pull you over! Oh it is already! Nazi America 2016!