FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — After a series of recent escalated and sometimes violent traffic stops across the county, Fairfax City Police are using ID pouches to prevent traffic stops from escalating.
The City of Fairfax Police Department purchased hundreds of vehicle identification pouches to hand out to drivers as a proactive approach to making sure traffic stops go as smooth as possible.
Captain Ronnie Lewis with the Fairfax City Police said, “We know that it’s not the solution that’s going to solve everything, but it’s definitely a solution. So we’ve been working on this for about 6 months with this partnership and we figured it’s time to give people the tool to make them feel comfortable.”
The department has partnered with the alliance for safe traffic stops after all the protest in 2020 calling for changes in policing across the country.
“Doing things like this with the pouches were trying to be proactive, and get that proactive compliance not only from police but with the citizens” said Lewis.
Jackie Carter, creator of “Not Reaching” ID Pouch, said, “We have to make some changes and create solutions. It just made sense to really partner with law enforcement and the community to build that bridge and build the gap that has occurred over decades it’s just not anything new.”
Jackie Carter created the alliance for safe traffic stops and the not reaching pouch after Philando Castile was killed during a traffic stop back in 2016. Since then she’s talked to police departments across the country and found that reaching for your license and registration can cause incidents to escalate.
“Really what these pouches are is a first step in opening a line of communication about police, community and citizen interactions. What we’re hoping this pouch does for us is actually its opening a conversation” said Lewis.
Carter told WDVM, “The next part is more training and education; however, the goal of the pouch is that it won’t exist. We don’t want this to be a permanent solution we want it to be temporary.”
The City of Fairfax Police Department has 250 pouches in stock with plans to buy more. If someone is interested in getting a pouch, they can go to the police station and ask for one.
The department is hoping to have community events where officers can continue the two-way conversation when it is safe to do so.