SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – The tragic deaths of the two Tampa police officers bring to light just how dangerous a routine traffic stop can be for police. It has been a little more than 20 years since the Shreveport Police Department lost an officer during any traffic stop.
That has not caused a lag in discipline for these traffic officers. If anything it has made them more aware. They treat every stop as if it could turn into a dangerous situation.
"From the time I see them (drivers) I watch them pull over. I watch their hands," said Sgt. Don Vishnefski, Shreveport Police Department Traffic Division. "When you approach the vehicle you look for any moment. Certain things I do on every stop and that can keep you out of trouble."
Vishnefski admitted that every time he pulls someone over it is a different situation.
"You really don't know what you're getting into so that's what makes it so dangerous."
He also said when he feels suspicious about a traffic stop that he calls for backup. That was exactly the protocol the Tampa officers followed during the incident that took their lives. Police officers go through hours of specific training for these kinds of situations, but sometimes things can still go wrong.