Tregre: Know proper way to handle a traffic stop (Part 2)

Published 12:03 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

Last month SJSO issued just over 800 traffic citations. The majority were for, no surprise here, speeding.

The runner up was motorists running traffic lights. I have even had to make a few traffic stops because I witness it myself.

Does anyone think motorists ever stop speeding or running red lights? If you believe the answer is YES, then I guess you also believe someone is selling igloos in St. John Parish with free installation for the first 10 customers.

The reality of traffic enforcement is there will always be violators and there will always be officers writing citations for traffic violations.

The interaction between officer and citizen is a moment in time that can build bridges or blow them up.

In last month’s editorial I provided 5 of 10 standard departmental responses to questions or statements from motorists.

Here are the other 5:

1) Citizen: I am not signing the citation.

Officer: Your signature is not an admission of guilt. It represents that you have received the citation and notice of your court date. Your signature is in lieu of you posting a cash bond. If you refuse to sign the citation, I am authorized to arrest you and book you with the said offense.

2) Citizen: I think you were wrong; I did not commit that violation.

Officer: I personally observed the violation. You accepting this citation is not an admission of guilt. You can either pay the fine or appear in court on the said date and contest the citation.

3) Citizen: You are only writing me this ticket because you have a quota.

Officer: My department policy prohibits quotas. I personally observed you committing the violation and I have taken an oath to enforce and uphold the Laws of the State of Louisiana.

4) Citizen: I will get this ticket fixed. You are wasting your time.

Officer: OFFICERS ARE INSTRUCTED NOT TO RESPOND. REMAIN POLITE AND PROFESSIONAL. Continue writing the citation and note exactly what was said on the bottom of the citation in the notes section.

5) Citizen: I want to talk to your supervisor.

Officer: Advise the motorist they can call Internal Affairs at 985-652-9513. Officers are instructed to provide their name and badge number.

Happy Mothers Day to all of the moms and moms to be. Hope you get the attention and pampering you deserve.

Dads and sons, please don’t forget to take care of those special ladies in our lives.

This month I celebrated 28 years of marriage to my best friend and mother of my children. She is getting pampered the whole month of May.

As for those igloos, take the time to visit a local snowball stand.

Mothers Day is the perfect time to spend some quality time with that special lady in your life and enjoy a wonderful Louisiana tradition.

We have lots of awesome snowball stands in St. John Parish.

Remember, it’s the small things in life that matter the most sometime. Just slow down and drive safely.

There is no shortage of ice!!!

Mike Tregre is sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. Reach him at