After Allegations Against Cops, What Should You Do During Traffic Stop?

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The Wilkes-Barre community is still shocked by the sexual assault allegations made against one of the city's police officers.

This is the second officer to be accused of these crimes in Luzerne County recently.

The district attorney's office gave some tips for anyone who feels uncomfortable during a traffic stop.

Wilkes-Barre Police Officer Robert Collins was led out in handcuffs after being arraigned Tuesday. He's accused of sexually assaulting four women in his police car over a 16-month period several years ago.

His arrest comes not long after another Luzerne County cop was also arrested for allegedly committing similar sexual assaults in Ashley.

"Unfortunately, one bad apple, when it happens over and over, causes a bad reputation for everyone. By and large, the police I've encountered throughout my time here are always seeking justice, always seeking to do the right thing, and these cases are anomalies," said Luzerne County First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce.

Newswatch 16 spoke with the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office to find out what steps you can take if you feel uncomfortable during a traffic stop.

The D.A.'s office says before you pull over, slow down and then turn your four-way flashers on so the officer knows you see them. Then, if you have Bluetooth in your car, call 911 to let them know where you are to make sure the traffic stop is legitimate. Once that's done, pull over in a public and well-lit place.

"Number one, you can tell the officer you are feeling uncomfortable. Number two, we don't make deals on the side of the road. We have a court system for that, so if that's happening, you should tell them you'd just like to get your ticket and be on your way," said Sanguedolce.

Many people on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre are very familiar with Officer Collins. He used to patrol the area.

One of the business owners we spoke with says he still has respect for the Wilkes-Barre police force.

"I always offer a free drink. They're out there making the city safe, making sure my customers are safe. I got to make sure I appreciate them, and they appreciate me, and they got my back and I got their back," Eric Negron said.

The D.A.'s office also says that a police officer should never contact you personally to discuss a case.

If an incident like this happens to you, the D.A.'s office wants you to give them a call.

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