A cop pulls up behind you with the lights on — and you immediately get that sinking feeling.
It’s difficult enough when an officer pulls you over, but there have been a couple of incidents lately when guys have impersonated cops.
And dressing like a cop isn’t that hard. With some quick surfing online, HelloSWFL found a ton of sites for badges. Some of them look authentic at a glance.
Websites offer uniforms, flashing lights that mount with suction cups, and LED law enforcement lights.
If you get pulled over, there are some signs to look out for.
- Listen for a siren. Most of the fake ones usually don’t make noise.
- Turn your hazards on. This can deter posers because it makes a scene.
- Crack your window enough so you can hear the officer.
- Keep your door locked until you understand why you’re being stopped.
- Look at the officer’s uniform. Check for name tags over the pocket, badges for an officer’s number, and patches identifying the department. Officers are also required to carry a radio and keep their uniforms regularly cleaned.
A few things to remember if you’re pulled over:
- This is one of the most dangerous situations for law enforcement. An officer or deputy is more likely to be hurt in this situation than almost any other. They’re being slow and cautious. You should be too.
- It’s OK to call local law enforcement to check up on badge numbers.
- It’s not illegal to dress up on Halloween as an officer of the law, but it is illegal to pretend to be one.