Deputy shares dangers of routine traffic stops

Local

Traffic stops are something several drivers have experienced. 

What some don’t realize, is that these can be dangerous situations for law enforcement officials.

“Every car stop can be dangerous because you never know what you’re coming up on,” said Erika Theis, of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s the thought that goes through Deputy Theis’ mind every time she puts on her siren.

“They are only thinking about safety,” said Lt. Timothy Myers, of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. “And, they are trying to make it as professional and as quick as they possibly can for the citizen.”

Traffic stops can be some of the most risky situations deputies and officers encounter.

“If that person starts acting nervous, it makes me nervous because I’m wondering why are they nervous,” said Theis. “What are they trying to hide.”

Earlier this week, the Ark City Police Department experienced this first hand when a driver allegedly battered two officers after being pulled over.

That’s why there is extensive training to try and prevent these situations.

“I walk up,” said Theis. “He’s not moving or anything. Once I get back here, I kind of slow down a little bit.”

Aside from drivers acting up, another danger of traffic stops is the risk of being on the side of the road.

Recently, a Greenwood County Sheriff’s deputy dove out of the way of an oncoming car that struck his vehicle as he finished writing a ticket.

It’s a situation Theis is also prepared for.

“If someone’s coming up I can either jump that way into the ditch, if somebody’s gonna hit my car,” she said. “I’m always going to keep an eye on traffic.”

Theis says there are ways you can make the situation safer for yourself and law enforcement.

If you are pulled over, remain calm and keep both hands on the wheel. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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