Laurel officials: Don’t fear police when pulled over

Laurel officials: Don’t fear police when pulled over

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel police officers conduct traffic stops every day, and like other law enforcement agencies, it's every day that the department sees citizens make potentially dangerous mistakes when pulled over.

"I've seen officers pull over a vehicle and the kid gets out and starts running for no reason at all and come to find out the kid just said, 'I was just scared that's the reason I ran,'" said Chief Tyrone Stewart.

Stewart said situations can become dangerous for the driver and the officers when drivers don't know the proper protocol to take when they are stopped.

"Wait until the officer approaches the car and then wait until the officer tells you, 'Let me see your driver's license, let me see your insurance,'" said Stewart. "Always keep your hands where the officer can see them."

According to Stewart, mistakes typically happen when citizens are scared. In order to help drivers, the department and Mayor Johnny Magee have put together a information pamphlet with tips.

"In today's society we have kids operating a motor vehicle that have not ever had anybody sit down and instruct them of how to respond when being pulled over by the police," said Stewart.

Officials are hopeful that the initiative will educate Laurel's residents and help keep everyone safe.

"We don't want citizens to be scared when they're stopped by the police, especially our youth," said Stewart. "If they cooperate, they need to remember these officers are human, they are dads, they are mothers, they're wives, husbands, they're human and that's the way we want our citizens to look at our officers."

If you would like a pamphlet, you can pick one up at the Laurel Police Department or Laurel City Hall.