ODU PD Hosts Inaugural Pizza Event

By Jonathan Fernandes, News Editor

Old Dominion University Police Department hosted its first ever Pizza with PD event on Feb 24. Occupying a large conference room in the Webb Center, every table was full as ODU’s student community came out to learn the traffic stop’s dos and don’ts. Officer Tommy Evans Jr. led the seminar, engaging the students in a light-hearted, yet informative presentation on proper traffic stop etiquette.  

Utilizing a power-point presentation, Evans walked students in the room through what to do during a traffic stop. Most important is remaining calm. These situations are stressful and keeping a cool demeanor is paramount. Evans emphasized that becoming angry or belligerent does not help the situation. Next, put the vehicle in park and then roll down the side window.  If all the windows are tinted, roll them down as well. Police officers get defensive when they cannot see inside a vehicle.  Finally, get all relevant documentation together: license and registration. Additionally, do not exit the vehicle unless told to do so by the officer.

At this point, a ticket may or may not be issued. In the event a ticket is issued, make sure all contact information is correct and up to date. Also, Evans wanted to make the audience understand that signing a ticket is not a reason to panic. Signing the ticket doesn’t mean you agree with why it was issued, it just means the court date summons has been acknowledged.

Officer Evans Jr. then fielded questions from the audience and the first he received was in relation to proper procedure when being stopped by an officer in a poorly lit area. The young woman asking the questions was concerned about officer impersonation. Evans responded by indicating that if an individual feels hesitant about stopping in a poorly lit area, that they should wait and find a well lit spot to stop in. He assured her that an officer can tell the difference between finding a better place to stop and evasion.  

Another question was about whether or not police officers ask trick questions such as, “Do you know why I stopped you?” in an attempt to get an individual to tell on themselves.  Evans replied that there are no trick questions, and directed anyone looking for more information to visit the ODU PD website

According to the ODU Daily Crime and Safety Log, the campus sees most traffic arrests occurring in unison with a DUI. ODU PD had zero regular traffic stops resulting in a ticket last month.

“We want to promote education and understanding,” said Officer Tommy Evans Jr. “I think the more we educate our students, our staff members, our community members… It helps alleviate any type of friction that might come up with basic stops and things of that nature.”