CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Police Department (CPD) is hosting a special webinar Thursday aimed at educating the public on traffic stops.

CPD officials say the webinar is meant to inform community members about their policies and procedures related to motor vehicle stops.

CPD partnered with the Citizen’s Police Advisory Council (CPAC) to host an online informational session on traffic stops.

“It’s really important for us to educate the community about why we perform these stops,” CPD’s procedural justice & research director Jillian Eidson said, “why they’re important to protecting public safety and what to expect from a stop.”

Organizers wanted to host the forum because they say traffic stops are one of the most common forms of interaction between community members and officers.

“We see large numbers of them on a yearly basis,” Eidson said.

Although traffic stops are common, CPD wants to share helpful tips with Lowcountry drivers on how to best handle themselves if they are ever stopped by an officer.

“We know that motor vehicle stops can be a nerve-racking experience for any driver,” Eidson said, “and we want to try to dispel any feelings of unease that people have. And we hope by providing them with information on what to expect, that can assist them.”

Thursday’s discussion will touch on various aspects of traffic stops.

“The webinar is going to define what a motor vehicle stop is,” Eidson said. “Then, it’s going to go through what the policy is of the Charleston Police Department. And then we’ll also talk about some of the documentation that we collect from the motor vehicle stops and how we use that information.”

Organizers say the goal of the webinar is to have those who attend come away feeling more knowledgeable about what takes place during a routine traffic stop.

“I hope that the people in the community understand why the police department conducts motor vehicle stops,” Eidson said, “because there may be some reasons that they weren’t aware of. And they need to understand what the expectations of the officers are.”

The traffic stop webinar will take place on Thursday, February 9, at 7:00 p.m. You can register for the webinar by clicking here.