LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Participants of the Citizen’s Police Academy in London have been treated to a couple of rare experiences over the past two weeks. That is, rare to normal, everyday citizens.
Kentucky State Police at Post 11 in London have given students in the CPA a chance to raise their heart levels, experience an adrenaline rush, and understand a side rarely seen of law enforcement.
During the second week’s two-hour class, students were visited and instructed by Tpr. Ryan Loudermilk. The experienced trooper began the session with an overview of traffic stops – including the overall purpose of such a dreaded event – as well as the amount of observation that goes into each one.
“Believe it or not, the purpose is not to make you mad or ruin your day,” Loudermilk said. “The purpose is to prevent crime, and all crimes require a vehicle for going to it, from it, or preparing for it.”
Loudermilk went on to describe low, unknown and high risk factors when conducting a traffic stop as well as the methods used by KSP in determining them. Low risk factors include speeding, minor infractions and paperwork mishaps. High risk factors include stopping a known felon or fugitive. According to Loudermilk, it’s the unknown risk, one that troopers continually assess and redefine, that remains the most intimidating.
Students were then escorted outside to observe how Loudermilk would handle a traffic stop. Trooper Delzie Kelly aided in this effort by playing characters he and other troopers have experienced in their daily work activities, one of which was so under the influence that he switched seats and swore he was not driving.
“Believe it or not, this has happened on more than one occasion,” said Kelly.
Tpr. Loudermilk described how much attention to detail is paid in every traffic stop. These included continually watching drivers, making sure lights block out a driver’s view, closing the door of his cruiser, approaching a vehicle and addressing a driver from the correct angle, as well as how to handle more than one person in a vehicle.