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The dangerous job of law enforcement officers patrolling roadways

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The LA District Attorney is investigating a crash involving an LA County Sheriff Deputy who fatally struck a bicyclist on Mulholland Drive last year. Records show the deputy, Andrew Francis Wood, might have been texting at or around the time he hit Milton Olin, Jr., 65. Police officers are exempt from California’s ban on texting and driving, but only in emergency situations. Patrol-car computers and radios also demand officers’ attention, but they are given advanced driving safety training known as EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Courses).

How do police and other first responders manage the demands of communications and driving? Should the rules that govern them be just as strict as those for civilians or can they use their discretion to know what is and is not safe?


J.P. Molnar, former Nevada state trooper who has been teaching EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Courses) since 1991; Law Officer Magazine's "Cruiser Corner" columnist