Kids Can Say the Darndest Things
Have you ever been pulled over for speeding with your children in the back seat? You may have heard them ask innocent yet unfortunate questions such as: “Mommy, you were going too fast! Are they going to take you to jail?” or “Daddy, how many tickets are they allowed to give you?” Talking to your children ahead of time about interacting with the police the right way can prevent embarrassing moments. Here are a few good pointers to go over with your children about how to act toward law enforcement.
If you are pulled over in a car: Make sure your kids know that the police officer needs to only talk to you. If you have ever played the “Quiet game,” now is the time for a new competition! Of course, when the officer asks for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, you can demonstrate how to comply and be respectful at the same time. Remember, your children have a knack for recalling how you acted in this situation.
If you are stopped or frisked for any reason: Never argue or bad-mouth a police officer since this only makes the situation worse. You can ask why you are being stopped, if you are free to leave, or if you are under arrest. Again, you always have the right not to speak and you can let your children know that they also can say, “I would like to remain silent.”
If the police come to your home: Law enforcement can enter your home if they have a search warrant or in case of an emergency. You can ask to see the warrant to make sure that they have the correct address. Teach your children that a police search is very serious and they should stay by your side at all times.
If your child is lost or in distress: Your children need to know that officers are also there to help them. Especially if you are visiting a large city or attending a major public event, tell your children that the police are the best people to turn to if they are ever lost or in distress.
In case of an emergency: Your children probably know the emergency number of 911, but do they know what to say? Make sure they know your address and phone number so they can be clear in case of an emergency.
If you teach your children that police have an important job to do and that they are worthy of respect, they will develop a healthy appreciation for law enforcement. While dealing with a police officer can be stressful, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities as a citizen. At Garrison Law Firm, our professional team can answer any questions you may have about your rights. Visit our home page for more information about our legal services.