Local News

Hoke County sheriff's new book discusses safe traffic stops, community-police relations

Posted January 16, 2018 12:59 p.m. EST
Updated January 16, 2018 2:13 p.m. EST

— A local sheriff is making an effort to rebuild trust and improve relations between communities and law enforcement agencies.

In his new book, Sheriff Hubert Peterkin of Hoke County said that an aspect of rebuilding is everyone doing a better job at a traffic stop

"How to Stop for a Cop" outlines what law enforcement and drivers should do when they see blue flashing lights behind them.

Peterkin has been in law enforcement for 31 years and says he remembers a time when there was mutual respect between police and the community.

Deadly encounters between officers and drivers, especially young black men, have changed perceptions and community relations.

He says, during a traffic stop, both the officer and the person being stopped have to remain calm. The information he provides is a step-by-step guide to make it so everyone remains safe and everyone goes home alive.

Peterkin says there's no such thing as a routine stop, but when you're stopped for things like expired tags, running a traffic light, or speeding, that shouldn't go wrong.

"They shouldn't go wrong," Peterkin said. "We're not talking about the guy that's running with a trunk load of drugs or robbed a bank. We know what to do with that. But an everyday routine stop, how is that going down?"

The book is available is also available in Spanish and as an audiobook.

It also discusses community policing, racial profiling and the use of force in policing. It will be available in February or March.

The sheriff said he's not waiting for the book to come out to share information. He's putting together a task force with community leaders, young residents and police officers to begin thoroughly discussing the issue.

State lawmakers voted in December information about traffic stops to the driver's handbook beginning this spring. The information also is now being taught in driver's education courses.