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CHP officers give students lesson in traffic stops
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CHP Officer Roberto Iniquez talks to students in the motorist stop exercise. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Always be safe.

That’s what Officer Angel Arceo of the California Highway Patrol Department in Stockton told students in Careers in Law Enforcement, the Regional Occupational Program of the Manteca Unified School District.

On Friday, he along with Officer Roberto Iniquez was on hand to provide instruction on making a motorist stop.

Students were quick to discover that the CHP procedure was anything but easy.

“We gave them a lot of information to process,” said Arceo.

Sierra High senior Paul Ybarra agreed.

Even though the exercise, in this case, was conducted outside of instructor Joe Waller’s classroom located in the MUSD School Farm complex, he did his best to remember the steps.

Ybarra approached the district vehicle with fellow student Ryan Mootz serving as the motorist stopped for a traffic violation, moving first from the rear of the passenger side of the car.

He recalled the three focal parts of the vehicle – rear, front, and middle – used by officers as protection from the unexpected.

“I also had to remember to watch for traffic, make sure the trunk (of the car) was closed, and watch the hands of the driver for any sudden or suspicious moments,” said Ybarra, who hopes to someday become a corrections officer.

As for Mootz, he’ll be attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, with plans of majoring in Criminal Justice.

He, too, discovered that a traffic stop was anything but a routine.

Arceo, who also serves as CHP spokesman, gave students plenty of leeway for mistakes.

“It was better that they do it here during the training than in real life,” he said.