LAWE2275 Traffic

This course will include instruction in the areas of Low Risk Traffic Stops, High Risk/Felony Stops, DWI enforcement, Crash Scene Management.




Admission into the Law Enforcement Program

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Refer to Course Syllabus for detailed information regarding the requirements and evaluation standards for this course. The Course Syllabus will be distributed the first week of the course.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes will be addressed in the course:
Demonstrate the ability to write factual, concise and complete reports
Employ the pre-stop preparations in traffic stops
Execute positioning of a squad car during traffic stops
Use verbal commands for high risk felony stops
Demonstrate the methods to approach and apprehend high risk suspects
Demonstrate guidelines for violator contacts
Demonstrate ability to perform traffic stop techniques
Express awareness of driver's license and vehicle registration issues
Demonstrate proper completion of a MN state traffic citation
Demonstrate the ability to deal with reactions of violators
Employ tactics in dealing with suspects possessing weapons
Demonstrate techniques in dealing with those individuals who have emotional/physical disabilities or conditions

Minnesota POST Board Learning Objectives:
1.1.1 Describe how perception, sympathy, empathy, compassion and respect affect peace officer communication.
1.1.2 Discuss barriers to clear communication, e.g. language, stress, bias, lack of common cultural understanding.
1.1.3 Use and interpret verbal and non-verbal cues to enhance interpersonal communications.
1.1.4 Describe and demonstrate active listening skills including paraphrasing, reflecting meaning, and summarizing understanding to obtain and clarify information.
1.1.5 Demonstrate reading comprehension skills necessary in law enforcement including: the ability to differentiate between facts, opinions and propaganda, understanding sequencing of events, and recognizing cause and effect.
1.1.6 Compose documents that demonstrate competent writing skills, including: writing from the first person viewpoint, differentiating between facts, inferences and opinions, correctly structuring sentences and paragraphs, and using correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
1.2.5 Discuss discretion and how it differs from selective enforcement.
2.10.1 Describe the basic organization, purpose and principles of the Minnesota Criminal Code and its implications for law enforcement including (list is not comprehensive): understanding key traffic related terms (Minn. Stat. 169.011) as well as the terms reckless or careless driving, describing violations of driving rules, parking and stopping violations, and vehicle equipment violations, how and when traffic laws apply to authorized emergency vehicles, and laws regarding driving while impaired.
2.10.2 Discuss non-enforcement deterrents to traffic violations, i.e., police presence/visibility, speed bumps.
2.10.3 Explain vehicle registration and insurance requirements in Minnesota.
2.10.4 Distinguish between different classes and type of licenses, endorsements and permits and explain the circumstances under which an individual is exempt from licensing requirements.
3.1.1+B321:C346 Demonstrate effective and legible field-note taking including collecting crime scene intelligence from witnesses, victims and suspects.
3.1.2 Given crime scene scenarios, solicit information and gather and organize facts needed for a police report.
3.1.3 Given a variety of law enforcement scenarios prepare reports that: are written from the first person viewpoint, differentiate between facts, inferences and opinions, demonstrate correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence and paragraph structure, are clear, complete, concise and accurate, and include all relevant details.
3.1.4 Prepare documentation for arrest warrants and for search warrants based on probable cause.
3.2.1 Discuss interview techniques used to: build rapport, encourage full meaningful answers and discourage suggestibility, clarify and corroborate statements, enhance memory, detect deception, and obtain information from a reluctant witness.
3.2.2 Discuss interview considerations and techniques for interviewing children, vulnerable adults and traumatized victims.
3.2.3 Discuss how and why interviewing techniques must vary depending on the interviewee and the circumstances, i.e., when interviewing children, traumatized victims.
3.2.4 Conduct interviews using procedures that: are appropriate to the situation, ensure the protection of individual rights, effectively gather information, encourage cooperation, and enhance memory.
3.2.5 Conduct interrogations of suspects using appropriate techniques to gather information, detect deception, and gain an admission or confession depending on the circumstances.
3.2.6 Explain and participate in evidence-based procedures for identifying suspects, i.e., lineup, photo lineup, and field identification, including blind/blinded administration of the lineup, instructions to the eye witness that the perpetrator may or may not be present, use of non-suspect "fillers" that match the eyewitness’s description of the perpetrator and do not make the suspect noticeably stand out and asking a witness to state his or her level of certainty, in his or her own words, as soon as an identification is made.
3.4.1 Discuss how conflict management strategies depend on the situation and various strategies that may be useful in resolving situations involving individuals dealing with mental illness, substance use, or developmental disabilities such as autism.
3.4.2 Model reasonable and effective conflict management strategies and skills intended to de-escalate volatile situations including: assessing and interpreting body language that is indicative of escalation or de-escalation of volatile situations, and using of situationally appropriate communication strategies.
3.5.5 Demonstrate proper evidence documenting techniques, i.e. note taking, field sketching and/or photographing/videoing.
3.7.1 Describe and demonstrate how to make contacts, detentions and arrests including: reading Miranda rights and verifying understanding, selecting, applying and removing types of restraints, i.e. handcuffs, flex-cuffs, leg restraints, conducting a search incident to arrest, and describing procedures for conducting a strip search.
3.7.2 Demonstrate strategies and techniques for safely taking a person into custody in a variety of locations when: the subject is non-compliant or combative, there are multiple subjects to be arrested, and the subject(s) are larger and stronger than the officer.
3.7.3 Describe and demonstrate protocols and procedures designed to safely transport a person in custody.
3.7.4 Define the term positional asphyxia and describe its relationship to custody.
3.10.4 Demonstrate awareness of Minn. Stat. 169.752 & 753 Medical Equipment which states: "Every patrol motor vehicle shall be equipped with and carry first aid equipment" and "Law enforcement officers operating patrol motor vehicles shall be trained in the use and application of first aid equipment."
3.12.1 Explain the purpose of proactive traffic enforcement and vehicle equipment checks/stops.
3.12.2 Identify the following elements of driving conduct as they relate to Minnesota Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws: speed, local authority, right of way, traffic crashes, railroad crossings, school buses, stopping, standing and parking, reckless and careless driving, open bottle, criminal vehicular operation and fleeing a peace officer, signs and signals, and turning.
3.12.3 Identify the equipment necessary to operate a vehicle in proper working condition including: lighting, brakes, seat belts and child restraints, mufflers, windshields, bumpers; and, identify the exemption from equipment restrictions.
3.12.4 Discuss how traffic law applies to bicycles and pedestrians.
3.12.5 Given a variety of scenarios practice enforcing traffic law including issuing traffic citations and documenting a vehicle stop.
3.12.6 Identify a variety of driver’s licenses including international driver’s license and out of state licenses, various types of Minnesota drivers licenses, and various license statuses including current, expired, canceled, CONAX, suspended, and revoked.
3.12.7 Explain how diplomatic immunity may impact issuance of a traffic citation.
3.12.8 Discuss balancing respectful, rapport building communication with enforcing traffic law and maintaining safety.
3.12.9 Explain how traffic citations are processed for juvenile offenders.
3.12.10 Discuss the use and application of speed estimates including: the radar standards implications of the 1971 case of Minnesota vs. Gerdes, and Minnesota Statute standards for running RADAR (Minn. Stat. 169.14, Subp. 9 and 10).
3.12.11 Summarize the features and applications of various models of RADAR/ speed-measuring equipment.
3.12.12 Demonstrate how to use a RADAR/speed measuring equipment.
3.12.13 Identify and discuss officer survival/safety issues related to stopping and approaching vehicles.
3.12.14 Review scenarios of peace officer traffic stops and identify: what circumstances impact officer conduct including best practices and high risk mistakes, and reasonable use of discretion in deciding what enforcement action to take or not take.
3.12.15 Discuss how secondary offenses may be discovered during traffic enforcement and the importance of being observant for contraband and suspicious behavior during traffic stops.
3.12.16 Conduct a motor vehicle traffic stop in accordance with procedures and laws including: observing traffic and identifying traffic violations, notifying dispatch of location of the stop, vehicle information and the number of occupants, Initiating the traffic stop by activating lights and/or siren, selecting a safe location for a traffic stop and safe vehicle positioning, taking appropriate precautions exiting a squad and approaching a vehicle, observing vehicle occupant(s) behavior and vehicle contents for risk factors, collecting driver license and proof of insurance, recording vehicle information, communicating with the driver about the cause of the stop, determining if a citation or warning should be issued, and whether a search, arrest, or drug or alcohol test should be made depending on circumstances, preparing and presenting citations or warnings and explaining how to pay the fine or arrange a court date, and the consequences of failing to act on the ticket, and taking steps to safely terminate the stop and return to squad.
3.12.17 Conduct a mock high risk/felony stop including: relaying information to dispatch and requesting back-up, selecting safe and tactically appropriate location for the stop and squad position, communicating with other officers on scene to coordinate the stop, conduct the stop using strategies, tactics and communication methods appropriate to the circumstances and observed behaviors, i.e., confrontational behavior, weapons on scene, objects thrown from the car, occupants approach officer or flee the scene.
3.14.2 Explain and/or demonstrate techniques and protocols for effectively and safely responding to crimes in progress.
3.14.25 Identify observable cues indicative of a driver who is impaired by drugs and apply proper procedures to apprehend a drug impaired driver including: applying Minnesota Statutes relevant to controlled substances and other substances that impair driving, explaining when calling for a Drug Recognition Expert is reasonable.
3.14.26 Manage a situation involving illicit drugs including: recognizing drug paraphernalia and tools for weighing and measuring controlled substances, and demonstrating procedures for handling dangerous, sometimes lethal and unpredictable drugs such as methamphetamine.
3.14.27 Describe investigative procedures used in drug interdiction including: the importance of intelligence gathering, methods used for field testing and who should do it, and the use of surveillance and counter surveillance.
3.14.28 Explain why law enforcement enforces alcohol and beverage control laws and laws related to driving under the influence including; the effects of alcohol on the body and driving, and the relationship between DWI violations and crashes.
3.14.29 Describe the terms Driving While Impaired (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
3.14.30 Explain what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does and its suggested drunk driving prevention techniques.
3.14.31 Describe methods to detect individuals who are under the influence of alcohol including: the role of psychological and physical testing and the preliminary breath test as impaired driver screening tools, and the concepts of divided attention and nystagmus, and the advantages and limitations of preliminary breath testing.
3.14.32 Demonstrate how to process an impaired driver, including: identifying driving behaviors and violations indicative of impaired driving administering impaired driver screening tests including the standardized field sobriety test (SFST) battery and horizontal gaze nystagmus.demonstrating knowledge of the precautions for use of the PBT as addressed in the Implied Consent Form, interpreting and documenting test results, and apprehending violators of DWI/DUI laws.
3.14.33 Explain the proper use of the State of Minnesota BCA Blood and Urine Collection Kit.
3.14.34 Describe evidence and reports required to give testimony in court related to DWI/DUI cases.
3.14.35 Explain the purpose and process for conducting saturation patrols to target, detect and apprehend impaired drivers.
3.14.55 Discuss what an officer should know, behaviors an officer should demonstrate, and communication tactics officers may find useful when interacting with a person struggling with a mental illness to maximize safety and more effectively approach a crisis situation including: why it is important to gather as much information as possible before arriving at a situation involving a mental health crisis, why it is important to respond in pairs and when to involve a mental health crisis response team if possible, why, unless the situation is immediately dangerous/critical, officers should not challenge or violate personal space and try to eliminate noise and distractions, the advantage of having one officer take lead in communicating, and the importance of having patience, building rapport and demonstrating compassion.
3.14.60 Demonstrate appropriate response tactics when called to a situation involving a motor vehicle crash including: talking to and being aware of other responders on the road, demonstrating approach tactics appropriate to situation and weather related conditions and to block and protect the crash scene, demonstrating appropriate actions to safely and effectively manage the crash scene, preserving and processing crash-scene evidence, explaining the additional steps to be taken when responding to a "hit and run" accident, distinguishing between a required reportable accident and an accident not required to be reported, safely re-opening traffic lanes following crash response, interviewing drivers and witnesses and obtaining the required information to file the accident report form, assisting people who need medical help and/or transportation, explaining traffic crash reporting requirements and completing the State of Minnesota-Dept. of Public Safety Accident Report Form, explaining the use of the Fatality Report (PS-07093), organizing collected evidence for the case file, employing traffic direction techniques, and arranging for crash to be removed from the roadway.
4.1.1 Describe and demonstrate command presence and tactically safe approach techniques in a variety of law enforcement situations.
4.1.2 Demonstrate "soft" empty hand control tactics that may be used on passive resistive subjects and resistive subjects and explain why the use of a particular control technique is reasonable given the circumstances known including: distraction techniques, joint manipulations, pressure points, escapes from holds and grasps and come-along from escort techniques.
4.1.3 Demonstrate "hard" empty hand control techniques that may be used on aggressive, resistive subjects and explain why the use of a particular technique is reasonable give the facts and circumstances known including: blocks with hands, arms and legs, countermeasure striking techniques using hands, arms, elbows, legs, knees and/or feet, counter striking techniques use in ground fighting situations, appropriate verbal commands coinciding with use of force decisions and proper application of neck restraint.
4.1.4 Explain when to handcuff and risks related to improper handcuffing and failing to handcuff.
4.3.1 Evaluate situations that may require the use of force, determine when force is authorized and necessary, and discuss options for the reasonable use of reasonable force.
4.3.2 Assess, articulate and report reasons for use of force including pre-assaultive indicators and situational factors.
4.3.3 Participate in and evaluate others real time practical situations that require the use of force.
4.3.4 In real-time scenario exercises, make decisions about reasonable use of force.
4.4.1 Possess a valid driver’s license.
4.4.6 Discuss the physical, psychological and emotional affects officers often encounter immediately following a pursuit.
4.4.7 Discuss how pursuit policy issues affect the conduct of pursuits by peace officers and pursuit related mandatory reporting.
4.5.1 Demonstrate the ability to properly operate law enforcement radios and communications equipment in live training scenarios.
4.5.2 Discuss and/or demonstrate operation of equipment commonly provided in patrol vehicles, i.e., camera, dash cam, mobile computer, emergency lights, sirens, etc.
4.5.4 Identify federal, state and local criminal justice databases and other data sources and websites frequently used by peace officers.

Text and References

A list of textbooks required for this course is available at the bookstore.

Course Scheduling

The scheduled hours of instruction include sixteen hours for each lecture credit, thirty two hours for each lab credit and forty hours for each credit of supervised occupational experience (SOE). Lecture credit may include formal or impromptu lectures, demonstrations or discussions with the entire class or with small groups or individuals. Refer to the Credit Details section of this course outline for the credit breakdown.

Accommodations Statement

Disability Services assists students with disabilities who need accommodations to access programs, services and college activities.  If this applies to you, please contact the DS Office on your campus to initiate the accommodations process. 
Brooklyn Park Campus - 763-488-2477
Eden Prairie Campus – 952-995-1544


Brooklyn Park Campus 952-995-1300

Credit Details