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Safe Passage Home: Perspectives on Citizen-Police Interactions


One of the most common interactions citizens have with law enforcement officers is the traffic stop. Citizens and police often have diverging mindsets and assumptions during these situations. For instance, citizens may wonder if they are being profiled; they may view the stop as a personal affront or as an inconvenience; they may feel embarrassed; and may be worried about court costs and higher insurance rates.

The law enforcement officer, on the other hand, is largely concerned with safety: that of the driver and his or her own. Because it’s a possibility for officers to suffer life-threatening injuries or even death while conducting traffic stops, they are understandably cautious upon approaching a vehicle.

Lack of awareness or understanding of each other’s perspective; communication issues due to cultural, experiential, and language differences; and predispositions, both on the part of the officer and the citizen, can inadvertently cause a citizen-police interaction to deteriorate.

During Safe Passage Home, we will analyze these issues; act out traffic stops to explain what, how and why police do what they do; and answer citizen questions and address concerns to bring a better understanding between citizens and police officers.

Registration Required: safepassagehome.eventbrite.com

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Northern Virginia Community College - Woodbridge Campus, WS Building - Lakeside Theater - First Floor


9 p.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, March 25 

Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.