How Common Are Police Imposters In NJ? [AUDIO]
Phony cops making phony stops. It's a continuing problem in New Jersey and you should know what to do if someone stops you and you're not sure they are legit.
A Sewell man was recently arrested driving a Ford Crown Victoria tricked out with emergency lights to resemble an unmarked police vehicle.
Police in New Jersey say it occurs relatively often.
They tell us that New Jersey is a highly-traveled state with a lot of vehicles going through and also Ford Crown Victorias are not the hardest vehicles to get. So it is a problem that we see pretty often.
It's late at night, you're driving, you're stopped by someone in an unmarked car and you're not sure about the stop. What do you do?
State Police Sgt. Brian Polite says often the officer will be in uniform.
He says, "We don't want give the motoring public the idea that if a vehicle is unmarked and it is stopping them or attempting to stop them with the lights, we don't want to give the public the idea that it is a license to pull off or lead this vehicle on some type of a chase."
And you can confirm that the person is legitimate by calling 9-1-1. Polite also advises you to remember your location, where you are, whether you are driving east or west, north or south. He says this is valuable information that the dispatcher can use to get a marked police vehicle out to that location.
Polite says every law enforcement officer in that situation should provide you with some type of identification to quell those concerns. And he makes the point that you don't have to open your window all of the way if you have some concerns. You can hand them your ID, you can crack your window and hand them your identification that way.
Polite also advises parking in a well-lit, heavily traveled area if you can so other people can see what's going on.