Police: "Preservation of life is number one"

Traffic stops are the most dangerous part
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jul 07, 2016

WAUKESHA - With public outcry mounting over the shooting in Falcon Heights, MN, police officials and instructors are treading carefully to defend the job of police officers in the field.

"We don't train that every time you approach somebody it's going to go bad," Brian Dorow, Associate Dean of Criminal Justice at Waukesha County Technical College, tells TODAY'S TMJ4. "The traffic stop is one of the most dangerous parts the job because of the unknown."

Dorow is one the instructors for police cadets and says the simulators for traffic stops present more than 500 different scenarios.

"They may have a warrant or you may approach the car and they roll down the window and there's a smell of marijuana," Dorow explains. "Or you may approach the car and all of a sudden you see a weapon."

Dorow, like many other officers and former officers we spoke with, did not want to specifically address the Falcon Heights shooting while it's under investigation. Still, he said police officers should only use deadly force as an absolute last resort.

"Preservation of life is number one. That's what we train. Preserve your own life, your partner's life, the person in the vehicle, everyone around you," he added.