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http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/06/aa.is.it.a.cop/index.html

Car pulling you over -- is that a real cop?

That navy blue sedan behind you with the flashing blue light on the dash is probably a cop -- but it could be a creep using police paraphernalia to get you to pull over.


How to tell the difference? And what should you do if you're not sure?
In the United States, almost all traffic enforcement work is done by police driving one of the following vehicles:

• Ford Crown Victoria sedan
• Chevy Impala sedan (some departments also use the smaller Malibu and the Lumina sedans as well, though the majority in service today are Impalas)
• Chevy Tahoe SUV
• Dodge Charger

The problem is that these vehicles are also sold to civilians -- and it's pretty easy to dress one up so that it looks very much like an undercover police car. In fact, there are police supply stores that will sell everything a dirtbag needs to make himself look like the real deal -- right down to the uniform and fake ID.

Some departments also use unconventional cars for pursuit work. For example, the Ford Mustang LX 5.0 was very popular in the 1980s for speed limit enforcement; today, some departments use unmarked Camaro Z28s -- and even Corvettes -- for the same purpose.

This is pretty scary, since we're all taught to obey the commands of law enforcement officers -- and when a police-looking car is trying to get us to pull over, every instinct tells us to comply.

Still, it's important to use your head.

First, have you done something to deserve being pulled over? If you've been driving within 5-mph of the posted speed limit and haven't broken any traffic laws that you're aware of, your guard should be up if all of a sudden there's an unmarked car on your tail with its lights flashing -- especially if it's out in the middle of nowhere and late at night. While radar traps are a reality, most of the time, we get pulled over for a reason -- and we know perfectly well what it is. So if you honestly haven't done anything wrong that you're aware of -- and the "officer" just appeared out of nowhere -- you're right to be suspicious -- particularly if you are female and traveling alone.

Second, if the vehicle attempting to pull you over is not a clearly marked police cruiser -- or a car or truck that isn't routinely used for police work (especially if it's an older/broken down-looking vehicle) and your "creep radar" is telling you something's just not right -- you should slow down (to indicate you are not trying to get away, in case it is a real police officer), signal your intent to pull over -- but only do so when you can find a well-lit, public place with other people around, such as a shopping mall parking lot.

Or, you can pull over immediately -- but keep your doors locked and only crack the window enough to pass your driver's license and registration through.

Third, get a good look at the "officer" and his credentials. If the "officer" is not in uniform, refuses to show you his badge -- or just flashes it briefly, so you can't get a good look -- keep that window rolled up and those doors locked tightly.

Ask once more to see his credentials. If he won't let you, tell the "officer" that you'd like for him to call another officer to the scene. This is your right -- and while it may aggravate the officer if he is in fact the real deal, it could save your life if he's not. A real officer will understand your concern and have no problem with calling a fellow officer (or supervisor) to the scene. There have been several case of women being abducted and raped by thugs impersonating police -- and most departments are very sensitive to people's legitimate concerns on this score.

Fourth, if the "officer" starts acting oddly when you ask to see his ID -- threatening you, behaving in a non-professional manner, pounding on your door, etc. -- seriously consider putting the car in gear and getting out of there. Tell the "officer" you are uncomfortable and that you will gladly follow him (or be escorted to) to the nearest police station.

If you have a cell phone, immediately dial 911 -- and tell the operator that you have been pulled over by someone who claims to be a police officer but that you think he might not be a real cop. Tell the operator exactly where you are -- and stay on the line. If it's a real officer, you'll know very soon. If it's not, the guy will almost certainly take off at this point. (Caution: Only take this step in a situation that clearly doesn't feel right as you risk an "attempt to elude" charge if it is, indeed, a real police officer. But again, better safe than sorry given the stakes.)

These precautions -- and some common sense -- should keep you from getting anything worse than another traffic ticket.
 

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screw you...
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Any chance for those douchebags to make cops look bad? Absolutely they'll be there with some sort of "investigative news crew" portraying the dumbass as a "victim" and the cops as jackbooted thugs. I can see that dumb f*ck Mike Bodet from Fox 25, wringing his hands and drooling over a chance at something like this....
 

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Sorry, I just don't agree. I don't agree with this article, and don't fully agree with your sentiments.

We have had an impersonator run around in my area. I told my wife if she were ever stopped late at night and could not tell it was a police officer right off the bat that she should be suspicious. I advised her, as I advise everyone who asks me, that the right move is to slow to a crawl, signal your intent, and call 911. Advise your location and your license plate, let 911 figure it out. The roll your window down idea is bad, barring bullet proof windows. I really do believe that any officer who works in a less than urban area as I do would understand the hesitation to stop for an unmarked car.

Why ask for a second officer to respond? The individual has already stopped your moving vehicle and approached your window. If this is a bad guy, you are already done for. In my jurisdiction, you could be waiting quite a long time for a second unit- far longer than a stop would ordinarily be.

I am sure that I will get flamed, but this is all common sense to me. If its 12 noon on 93 by the gas tanks and a fully marked SP cruiser with a fully uniformed Trooper (wearing his hat) is lighting you up, these steps are not necessary. At 3am on 95 30 miles south of the Canadian Border and a Taurus with an LED light tries to stop you, a 911 call would certainly be worthwhile.
 
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I've told my wife if she's ever stopped by an unmarked car at night, to roll the window down about two inches and request a marked cruiser. If the "cop" tries to open the door, I told her to drive away and call 911 on her cell phone. No reasonable cop would refuse that request coming from a woman with two young kids in the car.

And if it is a real cop who's just an asshole, I'll take my chances with the clerk-magistrate. Even if she loses, we're out $100 for 90-25. Big deal; that's cheap enough considering the stakes of being stopped by a whacker or worse. Then that cop and I are going to have a little chat.
 
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I've told my wife if she's ever stopped by an unmarked car at night, to roll the window down about two inches and request a marked cruiser. If the "cop" tries to open the door, I told her to drive away and call 911 on her cell phone. No reasonable cop would refuse that request coming from a woman with two young kids in the car.

And if it is a real cop who's just an asshole, I'll take my chances with the clerk-magistrate. Even if she loses, we're out $100 for 90-25. Big deal; that's cheap enough considering the stakes of being stopped by a whacker or worse. Then that cop and I are going to have a little chat.
That seems reasonable, esp. since I worry about my wife driving @ night, also. A PO in an unmarked and plain clothes should be prepared to expect a nervous female @ night and respect her request. I just tell my wife to remain respectful and show no attitude, because that may prevent a type-A PO from losing control.
 

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Adios, muchacho!
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Any real cop will comply with the request for a uniformed officer. If a request for a second officer is denied, drive away, the guy is a whacker.

There are plenty of unmarked, semimarked and U/C cars out there. The law is still the law, and to extend a "fear" exception to one class of person extends it to all. How long will it take the shitbags to realize that as long as they go 5 MPH with a turn signal on they can take advantage of a few minutes to set you up or conceal contraband? What is now bona fide cause for an exit order and protective sweep will become a "fear for safety" excuse that will torpedo your cases at a motion hearing.

Not to sound callous but if motorist lemmings out there are afraid some rapist whacker will take them at roadside, then maybe they should drive during the day or get themselves a LTC-A, a can of pepper spray, some karate lessons and educate themselves on how to defend themselves. For Pete's sake, everyone knows the life history of the last American Idol and where Oprah is on the NY Times bestseller list, but no one knows how to change a fucking tire.
Couldn't be more right, especially about that last bit. I've had to teach a couple of girls (no offense ladies of masscops) to friggen pump gas! Pump gas! Easiest damn thing when it comes to keeping cars running and they couldn't figure it out...people these days. They're (and others like them, male and female) going to grow up to be the ones who will believe anything thats on the news and lead a fully marked cruiser into whats almost a low speed chase because they can't think for themselves and find out when something is wrong because they've had their hand held their entire lives. /rant
 
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That seems reasonable, esp. since I worry about my wife driving @ night, also. A PO in an unmarked and plain clothes should be prepared to expect a nervous female @ night and respect her request. I just tell my wife to remain respectful and show no attitude, because that may prevent a type-A PO from losing control.
Trust me.....the only cop who my wife is disrespectful towards is me when I deserve it. :p

I should mention that my PD takes this so seriously that it prohibits traffic stops by unmarked vehicles except with the permission of a supervisor or during an immediate public safety threat.
 

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Grim reaper
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Trust me.....the only cop who my wife is disrespectful towards is me when I deserve it. :p

I should mention that my PD takes this so seriously that it prohibits traffic stops by unmarked vehicles except with the permission of a supervisor or during an immediate public safety threat.
I heard your chief prohibits traffic stops all together since doing so might incur overtime.
 

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"Not to sound callous but if motorist lemmings out there are afraid some rapist whacker will take them at roadside, then maybe they should drive during the day or get themselves a LTC-A, a can of pepper spray, some karate lessons and educate themselves on how to defend themselves. For Pete's sake, everyone knows the life history of the last American Idol and where Oprah is on the NY Times bestseller list, but no one knows how to change a fucking tire.[/quote]"

I agree to a point. (The last sentence of what you said is hysterical.) I think the fear of someone trying to do harm to a women is all too real. I dont think it is something a guy can really relate to. It may seem silly for a women to afraid of a "rapist whacker", but the reality is,as we all know, they are out there. Women should absolutely give themselves an advantage by educating themselves in DT, OC spray etc. -
 

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Maddy B's grammy
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Thank you guys for the tips. I think women have to educate themselves. There are alot of whackers (whackos) out there. A basic self defense class such as R.A.D. is a great place to start. It may not help against a gun or even a knife but it's gives you something to think about and what to look for.
 

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Retired Fed, Active Special
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I've told my wife... No reasonable cop would refuse that request coming from a woman with two young kids in the car.

And if it is a real cop who's just an asshole, I'll take my chances with the clerk-magistrate...Then that cop and I are going to have a little chat.
That's great Bruce! Just remember to please not certain words like c*nt
or tw*t, or the moonbats will attack!
:rolleyes:
 

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Damn straight Andrew...

We have word from on high, the Gil-A-Monster himself; the libtards can go @#$% themselves!

For those of you without the Masscops decoder ring; that means kiss my ass and fuck off loony lefty! Nobody decides the future of this site but US; the members and the owner.
 

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screw you...
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fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck...

just cuz I can....
 

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fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck...

just cuz I can....
You cunt!
 
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Speaking of whackers, can I tell you that I saw one in traffic recently? He and his little buddy were wearing tee shirts that said "emercency response" on them and they were driving like total A-HOLES, intimidating drivers and racing up the highway like they were hot in pursuit.

They were in a gold Mercury Marquis, all decked out. The car looked like a real police detective car -- no lights, but it looked like it was an unmarked.


MA 9333 JD.
 

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Jeepy said:
MA 9333 JD.
Juvenile Delinquents?

Honestly, the biggest somewhat legitimate hoot that I had one night while driving on 128 was an old guy belonging to some veterans group driving a Grand Marquis...as old men will do, 55-60 in the middle lane...

He had a decal or a magnetic sign across the rear of his trunklid... STATE COMMANDER in yellow.

Nobody would pass him. I laughed my ass off.
 
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