As I researched and analyzed several recent nation-wide police incidents involving teens, I shook my head in disbelief that these situations reached a level where teens were killed or serious injured. How many of these types of incidents would have happened if the teens involved were more aware of what to do and what to say? I am very confident in saying that the numbers would not be at the extreme high level it is now.
Today’s police officers are facing enormous and very complex policing challenges that they have never seen before. Parents can play a significant role in helping to prevent a serious police incident involving their teen by better educating and preparing them on how to deal with police. Knowledge is power and our children should at least understand the “basics” to dealing with police. The end result is to not cause the police actions to escalate to the use deadly force or more extreme tactics and techniques to deal with a situation involving our children.
Routine police stops are no longer routine and every stop is considered very dangerous to police officers. Even some verbal and non-verbal actions by teens toward a police officer could be viewed as a threat. This is why every parent must better educate and prepare their teens for any incidents involving our police.
Here are 10 simple tips your teens need to know when they are dealing with a police officer or any law enforcement official:
1. Be courtesy, polite and calm.
2. Tell them your name and where you live or provide them with your identification card.
3. Ask to call your parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Repeat as necessary.
4. Ask for a lawyer or legal representation. Repeat as necessary.
5. Ask for a supervisor to be at the scene. If needed and repeat as necessary.
1. Don’t run or resist being arrested or detained.
2. Don’t disregard the police instructions or orders.
3. Don’t answer questions (except #2 above), acknowledge or consent to anything until you speak to a lawyer or legal representation.
4. Don’t make sudden moves.
5. Don’t be argumentative or confrontational.
Yes, we have reached a “decision point” in our society where tips like these must be common knowledge for our children. No child is immune from contact with police or law enforcement officials. Let’s arm our teens now with the knowledge on how to deal with police before it is too late! Parents can make a difference and reduce these types of police incidents involving our children from occurring at the alarming rate we see today.