The Traffic Stop: Emergency Vehicles

By McPherson Police Department
February 18, 2015

Not all ‘authorized emergency vehicles’ are the same. Sometimes we receive reports from residents who are concerned for the manner in which a First Responder (EMS, Fire, or Law Enforcement) is driving. Kansas statutes do provide opportunity for First Responders to disregard some traffic laws as need requires. As with any driving complaint, McPherson KS Police Department encourages the public to share your concerns in the following way…

First, as you have time and ability, try to identify the agency by taking down a vehicle description (color, type, tag or unit number, etc.)

Second, note the location and time (as closely as possible) where and when the incident occurred.

Third, be aware there are many different manners of response depending on which agency/agencies are responding to an emergency in our community. There are occasions when an individual might leave the jurisdiction s/he serves in a marked/identified vehicle such as training, prisoner/patient transport, specialized repairs or maintenance, and/or inter-agency cooperation for large/catastrophic events.

Finally, if there is ever cause for a McPherson resident to feel legitimate concern about whether they are being stopped by an authorized law enforcement officer call 9-1-1 to calmly report your location and confirm the stop is legitimate. When a call cannot be made, drive at the speed limit to the NEAREST well lit and populated area (gas station, store, etc.) to ask for a phone or explain your concerns calmly to the law enforcement officer with an audience in view. This should only be done rarely and a long drive should not be necessary, as there are many well-lit areas within a short drive of most neighborhoods in McPherson.

One more note: Did you know Police vehicles in McPherson feature a “shield” badge, not the “star” badge seen on Sheriff vehicles? While the two agencies share the same city, county, and building, and our jurisdictions overlap, the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department are NOT the same agency.