Wayne County Sheriff’s Department prepares teens by holding mock traffic stops

‘We fear the idea of being stopped by the police’

Officers in Wayne County worked with teens by holding mock traffic stops.

DETROIT – Seeing those red and blue lights flashing behind you can be terrifying for new drivers, especially the first time.

Thursday, law enforcement from across Wayne County, including Livonia, Dearborn police, Dearborn Heights police, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, came together to help give young drivers a real-life lesson on what to do if they are pulled over.

The new simulation featured fast cars from the Competition Corvette Club of Michigan.

Driving those hot wheels were teens like 16-year-old Jeremiah Williams. The thought of getting pulled over is a little uneasy.

“I’ve been driving since the beginning of last year,” said Williams. “I feel like that’s like a common thing with a lot of teens our age; we fear the idea of being stopped by the police; that we might be arrested or harmed in some way, shape, or form.”

Thursday was like a practice run.

“It’s basically proper conduct during police encounters with an emphasis on traffic stops because that’s where we see a lot of things go wrong that should not go wrong because it’s just a traffic stop,” said Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington.

The sheriff and Williams agree that the learning moment goes beyond someone getting pulled over.

“This will be the perfect time for us to bridge that gap between police and civilian so we can have a better understanding of both sides and come together as one tribe,” Williams said.

Washington said law enforcement agencies could take away from the experience too.

“You shouldn’t be afraid of police, and police should be doing it the right way,” Washington said. “And we are, for the large part, police are getting it right. But there are some instances where we don’t, and that’s why we’re talking to officers as well.”

Thursday was the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department’s first time doing this simulation, and they hope to do it again.

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.