Letter to the Editor

October 2020

Dear Inside Sacramento:
(Regarding “Traffic Stop: Do we need police to write tickets?” September 2020.) Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous activities for police officers, but not necessarily due to any act of violence committed by occupants of the vehicle stopped.

Instead, traffic stops expose the officer to additional dangers that they do not typically face during other activities (e.g., being struck by a passing vehicle).

Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows roughly 40 percent of officer fatalities are traffic related, while 55 percent are due to violence by other persons or animals. A traffic stop then, includes both lethal hazards, resulting in close to 65 percent of officer fatalities being on a street or highway.

Domestic violence and mental health calls are even more dangerous. I was shot at on one of those calls.

Gerry Alvernaz
Retired Park Ranger

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