The former police chief also tells law enforcement officers across the country to call for backup if they suspect they’re dealing with a sovereign citizen. “Do not ever approach that vehicle alone, whether there’s one in there or five in there,” he said. “It makes no difference: they are deadly.”
Although Paudert then followed up to say that not all sovereign citizens are violent, he stressed police should act with extreme caution when interacting with them. “I don’t want to see any other family suffer,” he said. “So I’m doing everything within my power to do my part in educating officers about [sovereign citizens].”
His zeal has had an immediate impact. Paudert says the FBI has begun to take the threat from sovereign citizens seriously, engaging the mainstream media and raising the profile of the movement as well as sharing information with state and local law enforcement and conducting sovereign citizen awareness training.
“I think [the FBI] is doing a great job now,” he said.
That’s important, because Paudert believes the threat will only grow as sovereign citizens become more confrontational. In Nevada, for example, Paudert told Security Management that sovereign citizens have organized a phone bank to alert each other when a compatriot is pulled over by police.
“If one person gets stopped, they can group dial the others and the sovereigns will all come to that traffic stop,” he said. “Some will have weapons. Some will have video cameras. And they’re there just to intimidate the police officers.”
That’s why Paudert says it’s critical for police officers to call for backup before engaging a known or suspected sovereign citizen.
“We’re telling officers that when they stop [a sovereign] be prepared and always have backup, because they’re going to have someone coming.”
Snapshot of FBI report, "Sovereign Citizens: An Introduction for Law Enforcement"