Traffic stops can result in a mixed bag of interactions between the occupants of a vehicle and law enforcement.
Labor Day 2022 provides a snapshot example, as evidenced by data just released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Roughly half of the 2,020 traffic stops statewide involved speed violations. Another 177 were seatbelt infractions, 46 instances of drivers under the influence of substances and four deaths among 185 crashes.
Roadways are often dangerous, said Trent Pettigrew, new Director of Safety and Security for Canadian Valley Technology Center.
He would know. Capt. Pettigrew spent more than a quarter-century as an OHP Trooper. He was a four-time Criminal Interdiction Trooper of the year.
Pettigrew is a strong supporter of law enforcement training to prepare officers for a litany of situations. Accordingly, he is helping facilitate training focused on defensive tactics and traffic stops for the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department.
“These are among the most important due to traffic stops being a reoccurring event for a law enforcement officer and one of the most dangerous,” Pettigrew said. “Using the latest tactics for approaching vehicles on traffic stops and dealing with dangerous situations must always be a priority in training.”
Sheriff’s office staff will conduct the training at CV Tech’s El Reno Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Pettigrew cautions the public not to be alarmed by an expected large law enforcement presence on campus that day for training.
School administrators hope to position CV Tech as a recognized leader in law enforcement training.
CV Tech added a full-time Emergency Services program last year with a focus on criminal justice, emergency medical response and fire safety. Successful graduates can work as dispatchers, corrections officers or security guards, or they can pursue further education in law enforcement.
Additionally, a short-term Emergency Medical Responder course returns Oct. 21 in a hybrid format (online and in-class requirements). The 70-hour class was offered last spring for the first time. It is designed specifically for rural or volunteer firefighters or law enforcement who are often first on the scene of accidents and medical emergencies. To enroll, or for more information, please call (405) 422-2210.
School officials also plan to host a basic police academy onsite soon. More details are forthcoming.
Pettigrew said he cherishes the opportunity to provide a safe environment for students, staff and faculty at CV Tech. He also welcomes the challenge of extending that safety net to include public safety providers.