Law Enforcement Interview Question – Pull Over Your Mother

Law Enforcement Interview Question – Pull Over Your Mother

Hi, Chief Russ From Earn Your Badge. Scenario based questions can be some of the
most difficult questions to answer in the Oral Board process because let’s face it there
is a right and a wrong answer and you know the Oral Board panel members are fishing for
something. They are trying to find out your personality. They want to find out what kind
of person you are, so picture me in my Oral Board. I am going to answer a scenario based
question. Mr. Ehlers say you are running radar and you
pull a car over for going 15 over the posted limit. When you walk up to the car it happens
to be your mother. It turns out she borrowed a car from the neighbor or something like
that. What would you do? Very briefly, I might kindly admonish her
for speeding, maybe I would tease her a little bit. That would be about the end of my contact
and I would let her go on her way. Make her promise she would not speed through my district
anymore. I certainly would not give her a ticket. I would end it very quickly and the
traffic stop. Go about my business. Go about patrol. Now what I did not do was answer what I have
seen a lot of candidates do. Why I would issue her a citation, she was speeding. Listen nobody
I their right mind will issue their mother a speeding citation. They are just looking
to see if you are going to be honest. That is just one of those questions where is this
guy going to be honest or is he going to try blow smoke in our ear and make us believe
that he is the super cop. It is a very easy question to answer, just be honest. I hope you enjoyed this video. Have a great

48 thoughts on “Law Enforcement Interview Question – Pull Over Your Mother

  • Was asked this in in oral interview. "What would you do if you found a prominent politicians son and friends defacing public property?"

  • @mrottenhausen A common form of question, never quite hear it worded that way. I’m glad you shared this. How did you answer?

  • @ltamayo261 Great follow up question! My answer would be: “Every candidate’s relationship with their family members is different. In my case, I know.

  • @GodZirraAnim I know of an officer that gave his mother a speeding citation. It made the newspaper! What if you would actually give your mother a ticket? She’d never do your laundry again, ever!

  • I quit a security job because it was hurting my work integrity. The boss wasn't giving what he was charging the client for. When applying to the force I am asked why did you quit this specific job (it says the name of the company on my resume) I bring up the work integrity issue. They ask me for details… Now I signed the confidentiality agreement when I was hired. Do I reveal the details to the panel or do I tell them I can't because of the agreement?

    Thanks and you are doing a great job!

  • @FahdBaba I’d have to examine the confidentiality agreement to give you a solid answer but I can say this with some confidence. If you disclose to an oral panel, the reasons you left the agency, I think the security agency would be hard pressed to take you to task for disclosing that information in a closed interview.

  • @MrMooky2 The oral board is just looking to see if you’re an honest person. When a candidate tells the panel he/she would give their own mother a ticket, it throws up a red flag. They assume you’re just telling them what you THINK they want to hear, or, worse, you’re a person that will show NO discretion on the street. Helping people you know, out of trouble is far and removed from this scenario and no, the panel will not think you’re that type of person if you don't ticket mom.

  • Great info in this video. I'm trying to get into a department, and these are a big help! I know that you would not write a speeding ticket for your mother, but what would the answer be if you pulled over your mom/dad/brother for driving drunk?

  • Interesting, I spoke to a police chief that explained to me quite the opposite of what you just said. He mentioned that it would be proper to say in your oral board that you would give your mother a citation in a circumstance where she was going 10mph over and you pulled her over.

  • @ShiftNMove Wow, that's one hard core chief! I'm not sure why he feels it's proper to state that you'd give your mom a ticket, unless I guess, you actually would.

  • @EarnYourBadge He explained to me that there's a discretionary line that needs to be addressed and that they raise the mph limit if you say you wouldnt give her the ticket. Then when you change your answer the interviewers are supposed to ask you why and attempt to make you sound uncertain.

    A lot of what ive been seeing seems to vary a lot. Some departments like this and others like that. Guess that's why some people pass some oral boards and dont pass others.

  • @ShiftNMove You make a great point, the nerve wracking “challenge” that so many candidates face so often in the oral board setting. Panels often recognize that there may not be a perfect answer for some of the questions they ask, and there may not be a perfect answer for the challenges as well. They are often looking to see how you justify your action(s) and in that justification, it’s the reasoning behind your original answer that they’re looking for. Continue…

  • @EarnYourBadge Some of the panel members may think giving mom a ticket is reasonable, most don’t. In other words, can you justify your decision to ticket or, not to ticket. If you’re faced with “your mother is speeding at 40 miles over the limit in a school zone, you’re ultimately facing a different answer than if she was 10 over the limit.

  • Hi im taking a police program in college, and i also got into the co-op version of it I was wondering do police stations hire co-op students out of college? if so what would they be doing?

  • Can you answer me this question? What if after you give the answer that you gave in this video and then the interviewer asks "So you would give her special treatment just because she is your mom? Would you just go around teasing and giving everyone you pulled over for doing 15 or less over the speed limit a verbal warning instead of a ticket?"

  • While you're on patrol you see your partner driving 47 mph on a 45 mph speed zone. He's not responding to a call or on an emergency. What would you do?

  • Exactly; I view it in the same way as questions like, "Have you ever stolen anything?" or "Have you ever lied about something important?"

    I can't imagine an adult in a modern society that hasn't done one or both.

  • Agreed. I have passed at least 6 oral boards and have given the answer that I wouldn't give my mom a ticket. The "So your mom gets special treatment" response is simple: "Yes, she is my mother." They want to see if you have principles and to see if you'll change your answer with a little pressure put on, not if you are going to give people preferential treatment, which you probably will at some point. Those in the process remember this: It is all one big game, that's it.

  • I would give me mom a speeding ticket she has a CDL and knows better. If I didn't give her the speeding ticket not only would I feel like I was neglecting my duties as a police officer but I would feel like I'm neglecting my duties as a adult child caring for there parent.

  • I would give my mother the ticket. I don't like to lie either, and as a Christian i'm doubly accoutable to God, so I won't lie about this. What should someone like me who would give his mommykins the ticket say? How about, Sir I would issue her the ticket, and then make absolutly shore I picked up some vasoline from the grocery store on my way home from work to help dislodge her foot?

  • At least this chief is being honest and admitting that there is in fact special treatment exercised by our police. Every woman is someone's mom or daughter.

  • I probably wudn give my mom a ticket but if she doing 40 and over she is endangering her own life tough love is good love

  • Officer discretion is an element of the job. If you tell the panel that you’d give your mother a ticket, you’ll be viewed as a person that will give EVERYONE a ticket, and that just isn’t the case. If you tell them this, be prepared to answer the challenge question which will be: “Who would you give a break to?” So, if you want to tell them you’d give your mom a ticket, good luck. It happened in a jurisdiction I once worked in and it made the newspaper. Not good publicity for that agency.

  • I would give mercy to the people who show they are truely sorry and repentent butnotto those who would expect it from me because they are blood or to those who self-rightiously justify themselves. (Oh and im not talking about "im sorry I was caught" either) I probably woulnt pull anyone over for lets say going 5or6 miles over the speed limit anyways. Besides my mom WAS a drug addict. She was constantly dopped up. If I had ever pulled her over before she died speeding would not have been her prob

  • I knew a person that was shown mercy by an officer when she was pulled over drunk with her kid and teenage niece in the car. She eventually lost her licence due to OWI (opperateing while intoxed) What if she had killed someone the next time she drove drunk. Granted speeding isn't a big deal like OWI/DUI is but I don't think I will ever show mercy to anyone whodosntshow true repentence and remorse. And if I caught someone driveing drunk/high with a kid I'd personally be calling child services.

  • Dear Chief Russ Ehlers, My mother is a Commercial Driver. I don't know how the laws differ between regular driver and commercial drivers in my state but according to my mother the laws are stricter. How do I answer this question if I get it. The way I would answer it is. "Due to the fact that my mom is a Commercial Driver I would follow the laws in my area regarding the laws for citing Commercial Drivers." Is this the best answer. To be one hundred percent honest I would give my mom the ticket.

  • I ran out of room to finish what I need to say. My mother has always drilled into me that the speed limit is there to keep people safe. If I pulled her over for speeding that far over the speed limit. I would write the ticket and then once I got off duty I would be at the very least be giving her a call and reminding her of all the lectures she gave me from the time I got my permit at 15.

  • What would be your answer if the question was taken up one notch. Lets say you pull a car over for suspected drunk driving and it then happens to be your mother who you can smell alcohol on her breath? Would you then conduct a field sobriety test and then proceed to booking if failed or would you give her a slap on the wrist and call a taxi even though she was risking her life as well as others in the community?

  • My answer at an oral interview is this. “Intoxicated driving isn’t like a speed violation, it’s quite serious. I’ll be very honest, I wouldn’t give my mother a citation for speeding but in the case of a serious violation, I would contact a supervisor and ask that he or she respond to manage the situation and remove any presumption of conflict of interst.” This is too short an answer, but I'm limited in space. EYB Members got the FULL answer to this Q in the Member's Room of EarnYourBadge.

  • Offices are afforded discretion, to a point. An officer can give a break to most any speeder they care to, as it’s a simple traffic violation. Murder or breaking and entering? Of course she’ll be arrested. Officers don’t give breaks to murders or burglars.

  • Not sure if you have addressed this or not, and if so im sorry. I had as friend that was asked this same question. When he said he would Not give his mother a speeding ticket, the interviewer asked him, "what if it was my mom? Would you write my mom a ticket?" How do you respond to that?


  • Making sure everything is okay is reasonable. Yes, she should know better and buckling up is great but don’t tell the panel you’d have her follow you to her home. Simply admonish her and let her go on her way. The only reason you’d have her follow you to her home is if it was your lunch break time and she offered to make you a ham sandwich. Okay, I’m joking about the lunch thing, but no, don’t do the follow home thing.

  • did you read the first half of the posting. I may not even have a choose she is a commercial driver as i can't seem to find what the exact rules are in regards to pulling over a commercial driver in my state and yes i would give her a ticket she would expect it she has already told me that if I ever caught her going that fast if she didn't get a ticket she would be very mad at me

  • Chief Russ,
    Thankyou so much for your willingness to help. My question is
    Is mild humor ever appropriate in a answer especially to a question like this for ex:
    " Well sir is it Mothers day?" -and then following up with the truthful full response that you gave.

    I understand that situation dictates and maybe not the best idea if this is the first question your presented with.I was just curious what your thoughts were?..Thank you

  • Honestly my thought is it is circumstantial. I really dislike when people are doing say 40 in a residential area where there could be many small children playing. There is no excuse for that and I would definitely issue a ticket. Now on a more open road or freeway it could be a different story. I just really dislike endangering small children and peoples disregard for others.

  • Chief Russ, with all due respect you are way off base on this one.  What is shows is that you are willing to break and ignore rules.  I would never hire this person. 

  • The job of a police officer is to keep the public safe and inforce the laws. There are a lot of grey areas now a days. What used to be black and white now has become more grey. Officers make judgment calls every day. If they only went by the book you wouldn't need a academy, just hand out a book on all the laws and send them out. What chief Russ said is what they look for, the whole process is about getting to know you.

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