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packers
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PostSubject: Oral Board Question    Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:22 pm

If any law enforcement officers have a response to this please feel free to share your thoughts:

Two individuals are walking around a business and keep looking in the windows. They keep doing this for some time, what can you do? and how do you respond?

Keeping in mind the laws of search and seizures, I feel I have reasonable suspicion and, so, I would proceed to stop both individuals and question them. I would ask if they had any weapons and pat them down for my safety.

Follow up they have no weapons but you still feel that they may be trying to commit a robbery/burglary, what can you do with these two people?

Ask them to leave. I could possibly arrest them for loitering if they fail to obey my command but the law does not permit me to arrest them based on a hunch, or what I feel they may do.

Thanks.
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B
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PostSubject: Re: Oral Board Question    Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:34 am

What time of day is it? Regardless, I would probably conduct a mere encounter and go from there. Officers that can skillfully conduct mere encounters can gain a lot of information and make a lot of friends and arrests.

If that doesn't work, and you feel that they are still up to something, you could do surveillance on them. You could also just tell them that someone was concerned about their activities, and ask them if they would be kind enough to hang out somewhere else. If they are loitering, then sure you could arrest or cite them for that, but you have to be certain that they are committing a violation.
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Packers
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PostSubject: Re: Oral Board Question    Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:39 am

They said time of day was not relevant, they just wanted to know what I would do now that I have reasonable suspicion I said I would pat them down for weapons for my own safety.

Now, the problem I have is, since I am the only officer on scene, I have to protect myself in case someone has a weapon. They did accept calling backup as answer but still wanted me to handle it on my own. Basically, I am wondering if it is alright to handcuff one person while you are frisking the other? Again there is reasonable suspicion, allowing me to detain them for an investigative detention. No one is under arrest, this is just for my protection.

Would this be a better response? I realize asking them to leave is good also but what if they come back. Then again I like the part you said about running surveillance. Maybe ask them to leave but then come back to keep an eye on the business.
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B
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PostSubject: Re: Oral Board Question    Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:03 am

If necessary for officer safety, you could handcuff both people in that scenario during an investigatory detention. If the panel advised you that time of day was not relevant then it wasn't for the scenario. However, several factors such as hour of day, unusual presence, high crime area, unusual dress, unusual actions, etc., should be considered when determining whether a Terry Stop is justified. If a Terry Stop was justified, then calling for and waiting for backup if possible and conducting a Terry Stop and a field interview would be a good idea. Again, if you can't make them leave, ask them to. Whether they do or not, try to keep an eye on them for as long as you can.
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Packers
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PostSubject: Re: Oral Board Question    Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:55 am

Ok, cool. Thanks. I completely understand that the totality of the circumstances need to be taken into consideration when on the street, this is why sometimes I struggle with questions like these. It is open-ended but they were looking for a certain response and they guided me towards that way so I went with it.
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