TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Temple police train on how to handle a variety of situations ranging from normal traffic stops to stops involving a drunken driver to stops involving vehicles in which a passenger fires a weapon.
(Photo by Kathleen Serie)
Temple police Officer Gabriel Estrella said even something as routine as a traffic stop has the potential to turn deadly.
“You have to be careful, and you have to be aware of what’s going on,” Estrella said.
Estrella said during violent and hostile situations, officers not only have to think about keeping themselves safe, but protecting the other people around them as well.
“So, say I’m outside of a parking lot where H-E-B, Walmart, whatever, and there’s a person out there wanting to commit suicide, or has a gun, or has a knife,” Estrella said.
“How far am I going to let this person walk with him threatening us.”
Estrella said using what he calls “verbal judo,” has helped him and many officers handle tense situations.
“It’s just talk the person down and try to calm them down,” he said.
“Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes you do have to use deadly force.”