Calling Out the Stop It was called the C-Y-M-B-O-L method of identifying your vehicle stop: L – Location C – Color of vehicle Y – Year of vehicle M – Make/Model of vehicle B – Body style of vehicle (2-door, 4-door, SUV, etc.) O – Occupants of vehicle (how many, description) L – License plate information (number and State) L – License information C – Color Y – Year M – Make/Model B – Body style O – Occupants information L – Location! Stay sharp, and don’t take short-cuts! That next stop may be the “one”. Exiting the car should be as critical a movement as anything you do in the car stop, because how and when you exit may be the difference you need to survive. • Anticipate your enforcement action and plan on a location that puts you in a tactical advantage over the other driver. Avoid the opposite as much as possible. • Call in your stops before the emergency lights go on. • Plan your patrol car positioning during the stop based upon location, traffic conditions, your safety needs, and your tactical plan. • As the suspect vehicle is almost stopped unfasten your seatbelt and make sure it is clear of your duty gear. • Make sure your hands are free of radio mics, pens, food, drinks, or whatever. • Plan to give your patrol car an acceptable distance behind the suspect – I recommend 15-20 feet between vehicles to give better protection from approaching motorists, and a good safety distance that the bad guy must close to engage you, with bullets or by other violent means. • As soon as you can when that suspect stops put your patrol car in park while at the same time opening your driver’s door. • Exit as quickly as you can and try to position yourself to be facing the suspect vehicle as you do so. Pause briefly upon exit to examine the suspect vehicle for any potential dangers. • Have a plan for a driver’s side or passenger’s side approach and carry out the plan, keeping the suspect vehicle in sight as much as possible. Do not cross in front of your patrol car and give the suspect an opportunity to back into or pin you between the vehicles.