The story is making the rounds this week of a situation in Southern Indiana. Last week, a woman was pulled over by a man impersonating a police officer. It happened at 10:45 at night. The woman told police she pulled over when a black SUV with flashing lights pulled up behind her. She got out of her car. After a brief tussle with the man – who she said had a gun – the woman managed to escape, run through a wooded area, and flag down another driver for help.
So what do you do if you’re a woman travelling alone and you’re stopped by a police officer in a place that doesn’t feel safe to you? I talked to Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Clifford to find out.
Deputy Clifford offered these suggestions:
- Acknowledge to the officer that you are aware he’s behind you. You can do this by slowing down and turning on your flashers.
- Drive to a location where you are not isolated – like a neighborhood or business – before pulling over.
- Make sure your door is locked when the officer approaches your vehicle.
- Roll down your window just far enough to pass your license and registration through.
- If you are asked to step out of the car, ask for a backup officer before you get out.
“Officers don’t necessarily want to pull people over in remote areas. They want to pull you over in a place that’s safe for you – and for them. And most officers will not ask someone to get out of the car for a moving violation. If an officer asks you to get out of your car for a traffic violation, that should raise a red flag,” says Deputy Clifford.
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