If stopped by the police

Police Interactions 

It is the intent of the GVSU Police Department to provide fair and equal service to everyone who works, lives, and learns in the community. Frequently, in the course of a police officer’s duties, it becomes necessary to stop a person and make an inquiry such as:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your address?
  • Do you have any identification?
  • What is the nature of your activities?

Sometimes, routine interactions with law enforcement cause a person to feel intimidated or to respond in a manner which gives rise to conflict or suspicion. It is our intent is to provide the following to reduce elements of conflict if and when you interact with a police officer.

If a police officer stops you the officer has a reason for the contact.  The officer may suspect that you are in violation of a law. It is also possible that criminal activity occurred nearby and the officer believes you may be of assistance.

In any case, DO NOT RUN from the police officer.  Be calm.  LISTEN.  Find out what the officer wants. Don’t assume that you know the reason you are being stopped.  Provide identification if you are asked.  It’s best if you remain cooperative.

If stopped by the police:

  • If you are driving a motor vehicle and an officer signals you to stop, whether the police officer is in a patrol car, on a bicycle, or on foot, you must pull over. 
  • Pull over to the RIGHT hand side of the road.
  • Remain in your vehicle at all times unless instructed otherwise.
  • If it is dark, turn on the interior light.
  • Keep your hands in sight, preferably on the steering wheel.
  • The police officer will request your license, registration, and proof of insurance. 
  • Give the police officer a chance to explain why he or she stopped you.
  • If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain cooperative.
  • If the police officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, do so without any sudden or threatening movements.  Give the police officer at least three feet of professional space to do his or her job.