With undercover cops patrolling the roads, it can be concerning sometimes to know whether the person that is pulling you over is actually a police officer or not. One thing you may not know is that all Indiana police officers are required by law to either be driving a police vehicle or wearing a police uniform in order to pull someone over for a traffic violation. Also, only police vehicles are allowed to have flashing lights in the red and blue color combination. Still, you have the right to protect yourself from police impersonators, so follow these tips if you have any doubt:
- Trust your gut. If something about the situation doesn’t feel right or if there are no visual cues that the person is indeed a police officer, don’t simply pull over and roll down your window. Take the precautions described below because you can never be too safe.
- Ask to see their badge and photo ID. All police officer’s are required to carry their badge while on police duty. If you are pulled over by a suspicious vehicle, lock the doors to your vehicle, talk through the window, and ask to see a photo ID and badge. Make sure to compare the picture on the ID to the actual person that is pulling you over.
- Request someone in uniform. If you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to ask the person to call someone in actual police uniform to the scene or to have both of you drive to a local police station for verification.
- Drive with your flashers on to a nearby police station or well-lit public area. Simply putting yourself in an area where you can be seen can be very important in deterring police impersonators. If you decide to do this, make sure that you drive slowly and turn on your hazard lights so that the police officer knows what you are doing and that you are not trying to get away.
- Call 9-1-1. If you feel that your safety may be at risk, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 and tell them your location and the details of the situation. The dispatchers will be able to help you verify whether the person is indeed a police officer or not, and they can help guide you through what to do next.
We hope that these tips will prepare you and make you more aware of the uncommon, but important issue of police impersonators. At Boughter Sinak, LLC, our first priority is the protection of the people in our community - whether that’s on the roads or in the courtroom. Contact us today if you feel your rights have been violated!