TOPEKA (KSNT) – “Driver, let me see your hands please. Could you please put your hands on the steering wheel?”
Asking you to put your hands up or on the steering wheel is a newly introduced policy for the Topeka Police Department. They’re calling it ‘hand compliance’.
It’s a simple request that may be intimidating, but officers say is necessary.
“We want to remind our officers that these car stops are dangerous, until we can find out who’s in the car and respond to that appropriately,” says Sgt. Steven Block.
By letting the officer dictate where your hands should go, they control the situation. If someone were to remove their hands from the steering wheel and reach for a gun, officers would have time to react.
“Those seconds absolutely matter. What we find is that the average gun fight lasts three to five seconds. So if I can recognize that attack coming, then I can respond to it more quickly,” says Block.
After asking you to put your hands on the steering wheel or in the air, officers will then approach the car. They’ll also ask you where your drivers license and registration are before allowing you to move your hands.
The Topeka Police Department held a public demonstration Thursday afternoon to show what an encounter with police will look like from now on.