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What To Do If You Get Stopped

Your Safety is Important to Us!

If you are stopped by a police officer, taking the actions suggested below will likely lead to a brief, positive, and safe encounter for both you and the officer. The point of contact with an officer is not the time for an argument, if you feel the actions an officer is taking are not correct please notify a supervisor after the contact is complete or go here.

What are some reasons police might approach or contact me?

You may be approached or contacted if you:

  • Are in the area where a crime just occurred
  • Witness a crime
  • Fit the description of a suspect
  • Have been pointed out as a suspect
  • Appear to need assistance
  • Violate a law

Keep in mind,

  • Officers may not be approaching or contacting you for the reason you think
  • Over-reaction and/or lack of cooperation will complicate the situation
  • Police are trained to remain in a position that will enhance officer safety
  • Actions and communications are not intended to offend you

Patrol Officer reviewing informationWhat should I do if I’m approached by a police officer?

  • Follow the officer’s instructions
  • Keep your hands clearly visible
  • If a weapon is present:
    1. Verbally inform the officer of its exact location
    2. Do not reach for it
    3. State whether you possess a concealed handgun permit
    4. Wait for specific instructions before making any movements
    5. Remain calm and do not become argumentative
  • If you are suspected of being armed, the police officer is allowed to frisk you for weapons to ensure the safety of everyone present.
  • Cooperation can greatly reduce the time you are detained

What actions should I take if I’m in a vehicle that is approached by a police officer?

  • Follow the officer’s instructions
  • Remain seated in the vehicle; do not get out unless instructed to do so
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Turn on the interior light when it’s dark outside
  • Produce your driver's license and vehicle registration upon request
  • Do not reach for anything unless directed to do so by the officer


Contact Franklin Police

For Emergencies Call 911

For other assistance call (757) 562-8575


1018 Pretlow Street
Franklin, VA 23851

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