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Chapter 7

Handling Violators


When you see someone break a traffic law, base your actions on the following criteria:

If it is a privately owned vehicle write down:

  • License number, make, model and color of the vehicle.
  • Installation decal number.
  • Number of people in the vehicle and their sex.
  • Any other marks on the vehicle that would help identify it.

If it is a military or GSA (government) vehicle, write down:

  • Type of vehicle (-ton utility truck, 2-ton truck, etc).
  • Bumper markings and USA number.
  • Number of persons in the vehicle and their sex.
  • Any other marks on the vehicle that would help identify it.

Check to see if the vehicle is on the stolen vehicle list; if so, plan your stop and approach of the vehicle.

Pursuit and Stop

Remember: your safety and that of the public are the most important things to think about when pursuing or stopping a violator.

Radio the desk to let the station know you are in pursuit. Give your location and all information you have to identify the vehicle you are pursuing. This will help other patrols find the vehicle if you lose it in traffic.

Use your emergency lights, public address system, or horn to signal the violator to pull over and stop.

Note: Use your siren only if you cannot stop the violator any other way. The siren may startle and confuse the driver and cause him and other drivers in the vicinity to react suddenly in a way dangerous to you and other traffic.

Direct the driver to the right edge of the road. Choose a place large enough so both your car and the violator's can pull all the way off the road and not interfere with other traffic.

Park your car 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters) to the rear of the violator's vehicle and 3 feet (1 meter) to the left. Pull in, don't back in. (In this position your vehicle protects you from oncoming traffic. You also have room to move out of the way if the violator should suddenly try to ram your vehicle.)

Leave your warning lights on.

Radio the desk and give your location.


The following illustration and text show in detail how you should position your vehicle and how to approach the violator's vehicle.

People in Front Seats

The MP driver should follow these steps in approaching a vehicle with occupants only in the front seat:

  • Keep violator in sight at all times.
  • Approach from left side.
  • Stop at rear window--check trunk.
  • Check rear seat and floor.
  • Note: If no partner, driver must be particularly sure that his check is thorough.

    The MP rider proceeds as follows:

  • Approach from right side.
  • Stop at right rear of vehicle.
  • Watch people in the vehicle.
  • Be ready to assist driver.
  • People in Front and Rear Seats

    When the vehicle has occupants in front and rear seats, the MP driver proceeds as follows:

  • Keep violator in sight at all times.
  • Approach from left side--check trunk.
  • Stop at rear window.
  • Check rear seat and floor.
  • Note: If no partner, driver must be particularly sure that his check is thorough.

  • Go to front edge of driver's door.
  • Check front seat and floor.
  • Go to a point near the center of the vehicle, just behind the rear edge of driver's door.
  • Watch the people in both front and back.
  • The MP rider's responsibilities remain the same:

  • Approach from the right side.
  • Stop at right rear of vehicle.
  • Watch people in vehicle.
  • Be ready to assist driver.
  • Violator Exit From Vehicle

    When it is necessary to have the violator get out of his vehicle, follow these steps:

  • Check for oncoming traffic.
  • Open the driver's door and move backwards carefully with the door.
  • Note: When traffic makes it unsafe for the violator to get out of the driver's side of the vehicle, open the passenger's door.

  • Tell the driver to move around to the rear of his vehicle. Stay behind him, following him to the curb or sidewalk to the right of the vehicle.
  • Dangerous Felon

    Any time you observe, pursue, stop or approach a dangerous felon, you must apply these guidelines to insure your safety, that of the public and successful completion of your duty.


    Notify the desk sergeant at once and give the following information:

    Your patrol identification.

    Exact location of contact with the vehicle.

    Description of the vehicle and its occupant(s)--

  • License number, make, model and color of vehicle.
  • Number of people in vehicle and sex.
  • Any marks which will help identify the vehicle.
  • Direction of travel and the last intersection passed.

    Note: Repeat direction information often so other patrols can converge for support. The suspect vehicle should be followed until it is known that help is available.

    Pursuit and Stop

    Select a Good Stopping Site

    Look for a level area large enough to hold 3 to 4 cars and as open as possible. A well-lighted area is best at night.

    Do not stop near alleys, buildings, vacant lots, etc. These areas make it easier for the suspect to escape.

    Use warning lights and siren.

    Remember: Your safety and that of the public are the most important things to think about when pursuing or stopping a dangerous felon.

    Pull alongside the suspect vehicle's rear door and signal him to pull over. Use hand signal or voice (public address system).

    Stop your vehicle 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters) to the rear of the suspect vehicle and 3 feet (1 meter) to the left. (Pull in, don't back in.) In this position your vehicle protects you from oncoming traffic and gives you room to move out of the way if the suspect tries to ram your car. Angle the front of your vehicle toward the street.

    At night, aim a spotlight at the vehicle interior and follow these guides:

    MP driver--Take a position behind the left front fender of your vehicle.

    MP rider--Exit from left front door and take a position at the left rear of your vehicle.

    (Maintain clear view of suspect vehicle.)


    The senior MP takes command of the situation and announces, "Military Police! You are under apprehension! Turn off your motor and drop your keys to the ground!"

    Make sure the felon's hands are visible. Order him to place both hands on top of his head against the windshield or to stick both hands and arms out the window. Use a combination of these methods if there are several occupants in the vehicle.

    The assisting patrol parks to the rear of the first patrol. MPs take positions near the first MP vehicle and provides assistance. They cover the first patrol. They help as directed to search, guard and report to the desk.

    Remember: The senior MP from the first patrol remains in charge to avoid any confusion. He lets the felon know that additional MPs are present.

    The senior MP then announces:

    "Driver, open the car door--get out with your hands up!"

    "Passengers, raise your hands to the car ceiling!"

    He orders the suspects away from their vehicle and into a prone search position on the ground or into a kneeling search position.

    The first MP driver then accomplishes the following:

    Search the suspect for weapons and evidence.

    Handcuff and place the suspect in the backseat of the patrol vehicle under guard. (Use the back seat of the assisting patrol vehicle for additional people.) The duties of the first MP rider include:

    After each suspect has been removed from the car, search the vehicle for weapons and evidence. (Search the driver's seat, the seats where any passengers were sitting and the area under each seat.)

    Seize any items found and any items observed in plain view.

    See Chapter 15 for additional information on searches, seizures of property and apprehensions.

    Include the following information in your report to the desk:

  • Number and sex of persons arrested
  • Additional patrol(s) if needed
  • Description of items seized
  • Secure the vehicle under guard
  • Report departure
  • Minor Violators

    After stopping a minor violator, you must take whatever action is necessary-giving a warning, issuing a citation, or apprehending the violator if it's a more serious offense. Normally, an MP must maintain the highest degree of military courtesy and bearing. If the violator is an officer, a salute is rendered. Military rank, "Sir," or appropriate civilian titles will be used at all times.

    The following is sound procedure for minor violators:

    Greet the violator

    Identify yourself

    Tell him why you stopped him

    Tell him what action you are going to take

    Request identifying papers.

    For example:

    "Good morning, sir, I am Private Doe of the post Military Police. I stopped you because you were driving 30 mph in a 20 mph zone. I am going to issue a violation notice. May I see your driver's license, vehicle registration and ID card (if needed), please?

    Normally violators will offer excuses, rationalize their actions or admit guilt. You should allow the violator to talk, since this permits release of tension. You should not respond with any comment. The rights of the violator must not be violated. If it is necessary to ask any questions concerning the offense, or, if the violator is suspected of a more serious violation, he must be advised of his legal rights immediately.

    As an MP, you must take appropriate action without wavering, regardless of excuses offered by the violator. When this is completed, the violator's documents are returned, one by one, with any necessary information. The violator is then allowed to proceed safely into the traffic flow. If traffic is very heavy, the MP should assist.

    Caution: You must be alert to the possibility that the violator may attempt to flee the scene. Be prepared to use necessary force.

    DD Form 1805, Violation Notice

    DD Form 1805 is used by law enforcement personnel in conjunction with the US magistrate system to process and dispose of certain categories of minor offenses. The objectives of the system are:

    Efficient commitment of judicial and clerical time.

    Simple but sure method of accounting for tickets and fines.

    Convenience to the public.

    Better enforcement of minor offense laws.

    To implement this system, the installation provost marshal must coordinate and comply with the guidelines of the local US district court. This includes issuing a list of offenses for which a DD Form 1805 may be issued; offenses for which a fine may be sent by mail; and offenses that require a mandatory court appearance. The list also must include the amounts of fines. Guidance for referring violators to the US magistrate also must be established.

    DD Form 1805 will be used to refer violations of state traffic laws made applicable to the military reservation (Assimilitative Crimes, 18 USC 13) and other violations of Federal law to the US magistrate in accordance with the district court magistrate's policies. DD Form 1805 should be used for operators of both privately owned and government vehicles.

    DD Form 1408, Armed Forces Traffic Ticket

    DD Form 1408, Armed Forces Traffic Ticket, should be used in lieu of DD Form 1805 for all traffic violations of military regulations. Form 1408 may also be used as a written warning for those violations under conditions outlined by local command policy. Several written warnings to an individual, viewed collectively, can indicate a disregard for traffic regulations and safety, or an inadequately trained driver.

    The MP must enter the circumstances which prompted him to issue a warning rather than a citation on copy number 2 of the form.

    Related Actions

    In addition to citing violators for traffic offenses, other actions may be taken, such as checking the validity of registration documents, license plates, leave documents, visitor permits, etc.

    If a traffic offense is a serious one, you should record witnesses. You may have to obtain written statements at the scene or at a later date.

    Military Police are responsible for securing personal property of apprehended violators. Property must be inventoried under a prescribed method established by SOP, and a chain of custody established.

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