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Unexpected Danger! 2017 Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol

Common Sense and Courtesy

By J.B. Blocker
With all the furor generated on the social media concerning the shooting of a man during a traffic stop, it occurred to me that many don’t seem to know how to behave if you are stopped! To me it seemed that logic and courtesy were all that was necessary in order to make the stop as safe and painless as it could be considering the circumstances!
I began calling the ‘Best of the Best’ to help me get this right. These friends have served for years in several branches of Texas law enforcement. They include Sheriff Harold Eavenson the President of the National Sheriffs Association, Carrollton Chief of Police Rex Redden, Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Association Don Reay, Senate Candidate and past Top Texas Game Warden Peter Flores, Kirk Launius the GOP candidate for Dallas County Sheriff, Howe Chief of Police and License To Carry instructor Carl Hudman, and former Texas Highway Patrol/Texas Ranger Lee Young and Sheriff David Byrne to help sort out what rules have been approved and practiced by their various departments.
Of course I might add that when Game Wardens and Texas Rangers make a stop, it is rarely for a traffic or vehicle violation.
I did a lot of listening as they guided me through not only the regulations but also the reasoning behind the suggested actions for the officer and the driver. With their help I have compiled a Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol that should be an aid to the well being of the driver and officer alike.
Ranger Lee Young simply added common sense leads to less problems. Peter Flores and Don Reay each said in their own West Texas styles, It really boils down to common sense and courtesy. To which I respond, “Common sense seems to be a missing ingredient to a lot of people. Especially when they are being pulled over!”
Since I took my license exam in the 70’s, I wasn’t really sure what the rules are on a Texas Driver’s License Exam. So let’s start there! 

Texas Driver Handbook 2014 revised pg. 66

If you are stopped by law enforcement it is suggested that you:
1.Move the vehicle safely to the right of the road as soon as possible and stop

2. Place the vehicle in a parking position, set the emergency brake, turn the engine off, and activate the hazard warning lights

3. Remain in the car, lower the driver’s window, and wait for the law enforcement officer to give instructions

4. Follow the instructions of the law enforcement officer

5. Require passengers to remain in the car unless other instructions are given by the law enforcement officer

6. Give the appropriate signals and safely return to the proper lane of traffic when released by the law enforcement officer.

What if you are carrying a weapon? Every LTC instructor in Texas is required to impart this to their students during their class.
A.      Have your driver license and LTC immediately accessible.
B.      Do not make quick movements especially when the officer is present or approaching.
C.      Have your hands on top of the steering wheel as much as possible.
D.     If at night, turn dome light on and roll down windows if tinted.
E.      Open window(s) for communication.
The following is the result of the composite wisdom and experience of my friends who each have around 30 years or more serving and protecting.

Drivers Traffic Stop Protocol: Lone Star Reporter Version
  1. Turn on hazard warning light to acknowledge to the officer that you are aware of them and intend to comply
  2. Pull over to the right side of the road as soon as possible to a safe location.
It is permissible to drive far enough to have room to safely avoid traffic.
Park with ample safe space between the road and your vehicle
It is permissible to drive to a well-lit location
It is permissible to take a safer side street to avoid heavy traffic.
  1. Place vehicle in park, set emergency brake
  2. Turn off engine if practical based on weather condition (heat and air)
  3. Turn on dome light if the conditions are dark
  4. Make no sudden moves
  5. Roll down driver’s window. All windows if they are dark tinted!
  6. Remain in the vehicle and instruct passenger to do the same
  7. Place your hands on the steering wheel and keep them there until instructed otherwise
  8. Be Polite and wait for officer to give further instructions
  9. If you are carrying a weapon, announce it to the officer and tell them where it is located, do not point or reach for the weapon
  10. Tell the officer where permits, license, insurance, and registration are located
  11. Do not reach for anything until you have been granted permission
  12. When released give the appropriate signals and safely return to the proper lane
  13. DRIVE SAFE, Don’t litter, and wave at people you pass. You are in TEXAS!  jb
Former Dallas Police Officer, Kirk Launius the 2016 GOP candidate for Dallas County Sheriff gave an insight that civilians don't consider. "One of the most dangerous situations on a daily basis a peace officer faces is a traffic stop. You literally don't know what to expect. The dark tinted windows are especially concerning. Officers have been shot through the windows conducting a stop."

I feel it is prudent to know the training basis for law enforcement training. On a national basis the common curriculum is known as
The 7 Step Violator Contact  Rules of Engagement.


Another "Sign it and we'll count the cost later" legislation!

The Sheriffs of Texas didn't know about it. Neither did the Constables. Nor the Justice of the Peace, Municipal and County Court Judges, County Judges and Commissioners, or even most of the Legislators.
This is another Obamacare type, pass it and then count the cost once they accumulate type bill.
There should have been awareness by the state and county officials but there wasn't. The public should have a voice in this.
Look what has happened in New Jersey! Google bail reform. 
This will lead to elimination of Bondsmen services for misdemeanors and give the burden to the Counties. It will cost time and manpower. And we don't even know the cost of the programing or support elements.
By the way, about 93-97% of illegals who are given P.R. bonds and told to show up in court leave smiling and never look back.
Oh, and Chicago leads the way in P.R. bonds. How's that working out?
Contact your State Rep. and Senators now! The bill has been passed to the House and could be up for a vote by May 11, 2017! There is no time to waste! 
The best thing would be to Kill the Bill. The second best thing would be to put it on hold until those affected can have their voice heard.
Issues and Concerns regarding SB 1338 and HB 3011 Substitutes

Will Bonds be set by computer programs?

  I was leaving a great night with law enforcement officers, spouses, and supporters for the Thin Blue Line Ball held at the Rock Creek in McKinney on Sat. May 29th. On the way home I get a phone call from Honolulu. 
  Dog the Bounty Hunter wants to talk to me. We share some common ground. I'm from the Dumas area and Dog is from Pampa. We have some other connectivity that kept the conversation going into the night.
  The reason for the call was to alert me to a bill which passed a Senate sub committee (S.B.1338) and (H.B. 3011) and goes to the floor this week. This is a bill that can be traced back to Soros/Holder connected legislation designed to reduce jail occupancy by allowing more accused to be released.
   I am doing my research. Today I talked to sheriffs, constables, JP's, police chiefs, and legislators. I have no opinions. Well, not exactly. 
  What about letting a computer program determine qualifications for Personal Recognizance bonds?
  The following is worthy analysis, then I ask for smarter people than me to chip in opinions.

Issues and Concerns regarding SB 1338 and HB 3011 Substitutes—Updated 4/20/17
These bills create a costly and unnecessary bureaucracy that would result in many unintended negative consequences. This seems especially problematic given that current law already provides Judges the ability to utilize PR and Pretrial Release options for those that cannot afford bail.
The proposed legislation is an Unfunded Mandate to Counties.  Cost of implementing the mandatory Automated Risk Assessment Tool and related costs to each county will vary but for reference: 2015 pretrial budget for Travis County was 5. 5 million; Tarrant County was 1.1 million; and Harris County was 7.2 million.  

Texas Senate Bill 1338 Is it a good thing?

The Texas Senate is considering a bill to allow an increase of PR Bonds to those who can't afford a bond. There is of course much more to the ramification. It will affect the smaller counties differently than the big boys.
I have my opinions, but they don't count. Smarter people than I need to fill in the blanks.

By: Whitmire 
S.B. No. 1338
       (In the Senate - Filed March 6, 2017; March 14, 2017, read
first time and referred to Committee on Criminal Justice;
April 24, 2017, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 7, Nays 0; April 24, 2017,
sent to printer.)

By:  Whitmire


relating to bail and to judicial education regarding bail
       SECTION 1.  Chapter 17, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended by adding Articles 17.027, 17.028, 17.029, and 17.034 to
read as follows:
       Art. 17.027.  PRETRIAL RISK ASSESSMENT. (a)  The judges of
the county courts, statutory county courts, and district courts
trying criminal cases in each county shall adopt an instrument to be
used in conducting a pretrial risk assessment of a defendant
charged with an offense in that county. The instrument adopted must
be the automated pretrial risk assessment system developed under
Section 72.032, Government Code, or another instrument that is:
             (1)  objective, validated for its intended use, and
standardized; and
             (2)  based on an analysis of empirical data and risk
factors relevant to:
                   (A)  the risk of a defendant failing to appear in
court as required; and
                   (B)  the safety of the community or the victim of
the alleged offense if the defendant is released.
       (b)  A magistrate considering the release on bail of a
defendant charged with an offense punishable as a Class B
misdemeanor or any higher category of offense shall order that:


Denton County GOP host LTC (US Army Ret.) Allen West

Denton GOP to Host Veteran Event

Featuring Allen West May 12th
Denton GOP to Host Veteran Event Featuring Allen West May 12th

The Denton County Republican Party will host a special veteran-focused event in support of the 22KILL organization on Friday, May 12, 2017.  LTC (US Army Ret.) and Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Allen West, will attend and lead attendees in a ceremony to honor veterans and to earn their own 22KILL Honor Rings. The event will begin at 5:30p.m. and be held at the Denton County Republican Headquarters located at 2921 Country Club Rd. Suite 102, Denton, TX 76210.

The 22KILL movement started in 2013 under Honor Courage Commitment, Inc., after the VA released the staggering statistic that an average of 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day.  It is a global movement bridging the gap between veterans and civilians to build a community of support.  22KILL, the name referencing the statistic above, works to raise awareness of the suicide epidemic that is plaguing our country and to educate the public on mental health issues such as PTS. It also serves as a resource for veterans, and continues to build on its network of like-minded organizations to be able to connect veterans with programs and services in their local area.

The Honor Ring™ is a black band worn on the index finger as a “silent salute” to all veterans, past and present. This ring is a symbol of respect and simply says that you support those who have served our country.  Also, the ring reminds veterans and veteran supporters alike that we are never alone; that we are all family.

“The Denton County Republican Party is always seeking ways to support our heroes,” stated Denton County Republican Party Vice Chairman of Veterans Mark Roy, “We are honored to welcome LTC (US Army Ret.) Allen West to Denton County for this special event we are hosting.  Come out and bring your family, earn your Honor Ring, and join us for a barbecue after the program. To register visit”