MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Recent events and police stops have been making headlines nationwide and have shone a spotlight on law enforcement agencies, officers and the tactics police use to protect communities.
Now, ordinary citizens have raised important questions about the state of police and community relations.
Police said it's like going to a restaurant and having a bad server; the wait staff at another eatery is not necessarily going to be bad.
So, officers said it's important to know what to do when motorists are stopped by police and understand why it may go beyond a simple situation.
Lt. Selena Small, spokesperson for the Conway Police Department, said years ago the profession was respected and honored. Now, people have resentment and that's exactly what officers want to combat.
Police stops are an example of how a simple violation could go left and it is all dependent on the actions of the person.
First, if officers can't see a driver's hands, they don't know what threats are potentially there, so they have to take precaution.
That is why police want to remind people to keep their hands on the steering wheel during a traffic stop.'
Officers are also reminding people to keep calm, because when they're not screaming or threatening, the stop will have a better outcome. Drivers should also always make sure they verbally say what they're doing as they do it.
"Even if you think the officer is wrong in why they stopped you, even if you don't believe you've committed a crime or anything like that, it's always better to follow the directions of the officer and be police and respectful," said Small.
Officers said they don't wake up to shoot, pepper spray or Taser individuals; they wake up to protect.
The goal is to resolve problems and conflict, but still be there for the community.