Indiana....Unmarked ISP cars VS fake cop?

Indiana....Unmarked ISP cars VS fake cop?

This is a discussion on Indiana....Unmarked ISP cars VS fake cop? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi folks, I was talking to the g/f today about how I see unmarked ISP cars doing traffic stops. The cars are the std crown ...

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Thread: Indiana....Unmarked ISP cars VS fake cop?

  1. #1
    Member Array 22RSSIX's Avatar
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    Indiana....Unmarked ISP cars VS fake cop?

    Hi folks,

    I was talking to the g/f today about how I see unmarked ISP cars doing traffic stops. The cars are the std crown vic's with the lights. However they are not the standard black with gold lettering or the white with blue lettering.

    She asked what to do if a unmarked car stops her.

    She knows to stop in populated areas. I also told her to drive the shoulder to a safe area as well if needed.

    I plan to tell her to call 911 and check to see if the stop is real or not.

    She also said that if the person is not in uniform she will drive away and call 911 to report.

    My questions for all of you....

    1.What else can she do to stay safe if a traffic stop happens?

    2. these offical unmarked cars do the officers have to be in uniform?

    She only drive during rush hour in populated areas so the chances of a fake are slim but I want to give her the best answers of what to do.

    She also has her CPL and plans to car carry. Once she gets more time with the xd9sc I will give it to her. I also plan to mount the xd-gear holster for her like others have done for fast access if needed.

    Thanks,
    James


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    Member Array JHoff's Avatar
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    Same as you, I live in Indiana. I've gone over and over with my girlfriend and my mother about what to do during a traffic stop with an unmarked ISP, IMPD, or county car. Legally, if the car is unmarked and the LEO is not in uniform, you have no legal obligation to stop and stay stopped. In my personal opinion I would recommend calling 911 and giving the operator as much information as possible and find out if this is legit but while in motion. Having a concealed carry permit really doesn't matter much...just if you're pulled over let the officer know(although you legally don't have to in Indiana) that you've got a CCL and whether you have your gun or not. In my experience, the LEOs are really nice about it and they'll ask you to step out of the car and they'll slowly unholster your weapon (they'll then unload it and put it in the trunk). As you said, pull off to the shoulder and if possible get as far off the road as possible but still in a very well populated, easily seen area. That is both for your safety and that of the LEO. The LEO wants to be in a visible location and you should too.

    Jason

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    JD
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    Other than detectives, I've never seen a police officer in plain clothes on duty, and detectives don't make traffic stops.

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    Here in Colorado we have had problems with people impersonating the local cops. It has, at times, been so bad that the TV News has stated that you should not pull over for an unmarked car without first calling 911 on your cell to verify that it is a real officer and not an impersonator. They have also stated, with the support of local and state law enforcement that is you do not feel comfortable it is OK to drive until you reach a well populated area/parking lot before stopping.

    In any case, whether you stop immediately, or after verifying with 911 every Law Enforcement representative I have ever seen interviewed, or have spoken with myself have all said that it is appropriate to ask for the stopping officers name and identification BEFORE rolling down your window to give him/her your license and registration.

    Personally, if I was ever stopped by an unmarked car I would always call 911 and have them on the phone when the driver of the unmarked car go to me.

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    Careful dispensing and or taking legal advice on the 'net. Its worth what you pay for it.

    Contact your local ISP post, they will set you straight on whats legal or not in Indiana. They will also tell you how to address your concerns and how to properly conduct yourself during such events.
    It is very common in Indiana for unmarked cars to make traffic stops in that state, they have a different system going than most states. It seems to work well for them.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array 22RSSIX's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    Jhoff, I think your wrong about telling the officer you have a cpl. I don't have my permit infront of me right now. But I think it says right on the permit that you must inform the officer that you have the permit.

  7. #7
    Member Array 22RSSIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Careful dispensing and or taking legal advice on the 'net. Its worth what you pay for it.

    Contact your local ISP post, they will set you straight on whats legal or not in Indiana. They will also tell you how to address your concerns and how to properly conduct yourself during such events.
    It is very common in Indiana for unmarked cars to make traffic stops in that state, they have a different system going than most states. It seems to work well for them.

    I just found the FAQ's on the ISP web page and asked them my questions.

    I will post what they tell me if I get an answer.

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    I Respectfully Disagree...

    Quote Originally Posted by jhoff8487 View Post
    Same as you, I live in Indiana. I've gone over and over with my girlfriend and my mother about what to do during a traffic stop with an unmarked ISP, IMPD, or county car. Legally, if the car is unmarked and the LEO is not in uniform, you have no legal obligation to stop and stay stopped. In my personal opinion I would recommend calling 911 and giving the operator as much information as possible and find out if this is legit but while in motion. Having a concealed carry permit really doesn't matter much...just if you're pulled over let the officer know(although you legally don't have to in Indiana) that you've got a CCL and whether you have your gun or not. In my experience, the LEOs are really nice about it and they'll ask you to step out of the car and they'll slowly unholster your weapon (they'll then unload it and put it in the trunk). As you said, pull off to the shoulder and if possible get as far off the road as possible but still in a very well populated, easily seen area. That is both for your safety and that of the LEO. The LEO wants to be in a visible location and you should too.

    Jason
    This is not being nice... Leaving me on the side of the road, unarmed? Not nice, and there is no reason to do so.

    Unloading my gun and putting it in the trunk? Why?

    I have had interaction with a few cops, none have ever treated me THAT way! All have been casual, polite, and appeared to have common sense when dealing with a CCW'er.

    OMO
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    While it is completely legal in just about every state for a LEO to pull you over in an unmarked vehicle, many departments have policies due to the many fake cops to help prevent that. In many departments if you are pulled over by an unmarked car the LEO will be in full uniform per policy. If a detective pulls you over in an unmarked car and is in plain clothes it is usually policy to have a marked unit arrive on the stop as well before they get out of their vehicle (and we do have a couple of detectives that have done routine traffic stops before).

    As a little bit of information, most departments' unmarked cars are lit like a Christmas tree. We're not talking a single rotating beacon light or a couple of strobe lights. Some unmarked cars have many, many dash lights or are equipped like a regular patrol car with strobes in the corner lights and wig-wag (alternating high beams) lights as well as a multitude of dash lights. Some even have "undercover" lightbars which are installed just beneath the headliner (top of the front windshield) which are also very visible.

    The general rule of thumb when it comes to traffic stops is that both the LEO and their department want to be as noticeable as possible. This means that people behind them (as well as in front) know that a traffic stop has been made and to keep a safe distance and the person pulled over knows that the person walking up to them is a LEO. It is in the best interests of the LEO as well to make no mistake as knowing they are a LEO. Also beware of anyone performing a traffic stop and not wearing at least business casual attire as many departments require. I can guarantee you that if someone steps out of an unmarked car wearing jeans/shorts and a t-shirt (even if it says POLICE on it) is a fake. LEOs wearing that kind of attire will usually only be doing surveillance or some other covert exercise, but if they are truly stopping you, you will have a multitude of marked units there very soon. ;O)

    Cheers.
    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall." Adolf Hitler

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    +1 on what Soundwave stated.

    In my experience, and I am not an attorney, but often times police while working traffic will have low profile cars that does not have an external roof mounted light bar. I believe it's called a "California Package" (regular markings and decals on doors and fenders but no external roof mounted light bar, utilizing emergency lights in the grill and from inside the dash, headlight flashers, corner strobes, etc.) in order to catch those sharp eyed speeders before they can slow down. In those instances the officers who work traffic are "Uniformed Officers!" And again, those "unmarked" vehicles usually will have a couple of thousand dollars in christmas tree lights like soundwave stated. You average scumbag trolling for victims by posing usually don't have the kind of money to blow $2.000 on a light package because they are the types who work menial low pay jobs.

    I think departments try to be cognizant of imposters that throw a dash light on their cars and impersonate LEO to prey on motorists.

    Also most departments have policies against "plain clothed offiers" making routine traffic stops. While detective and plain clothed cops can make stops and probably will for compelling circumstances, they will usually radio for a marked unit with a uniformed officer to assist.

    You can get into some real trouble by failing to pull over for a bona-fide LEO.

    What I would recommend if you are being pulled over by an unmarked car which has emergency lights inside on the dash or in the grill I would recommend the following steps:

    A) Pull over to the shoulder, leave your car RUNNING, leave your doors LOCKED, and leave your windows ROLLED UP!

    B) WATCH CAREFULLY in your rearview or side mirror as the person exits their vehicle to see if there are LEO MARKINGS & DECALS on the DOOR as he opens the door to get out!

    C) Look to see if the person getting out is in UNIFORM with Badge and regular Duty Belt!

    If the you do not see any Police Markings on the Door, the person is NOT in uniform, Be Prepared To Leave!

    As he approaches your vehicle inform him that you are concerned about imposters, you notice there are no decals or identifying signage on his vehicle and he is not in uniform and request that he have a uniformed officer in a marked vehicle respond.

    If he refuses, becomes enraged, or attempts to open your car or goes for a weapon, Floor It and Get Out Of Dodge and call 911 on your cell phone if you have one. If you do not have a cell phone, drive to a public place where people are and use a phone to call 911.

    I think this would be appropriate especially in areas where you are unfamiliar, out of town, do not know what the local LEO's and State Police drive.

    It would also be appropriate to call your State Police and the Local Police Departments in your area and ask them their policies regarding traffic stops and ID of the officers and state your concerns about imposters. You can also get advice from an attorney.

    I would think, if the car pulling you over has absolutely no markings other than a dashboard emergency light, the person is not in uniform, and attempts to open your car door, or ignores your request to have a marked unit respond and you flee... I would think you would be on fairly solid ground for having reasonable fear of an imposter should it prove to have been a bona-fide LEO!

    Also, if you end up driving off and the person pursues you, and all of a sudden several other Marked Cars show up and join in the pursuit, it's a pretty good bet that the 1st guy was legitimate and I would pull over at that point!

    YMMV and there is no substitute for getting advice in advance from your local police, sheriff, and state police as well as an attorney!

    In my area, a couple of years ago, we did have an imposter try and make several traffic stops.... In all cases, the people got bad feelings and drove away after initially pulling over, before anything bad happened so all were pretty lucky! Not everyone is!

    Stay Safe!
    -Bark'n
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  11. #11
    Member Array nonsnob's Avatar
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    Indiana is not a shall inform state. meaning you do not have to notify if carrying,would i yes just out of courtesy.Isp that i have encountered here are very proffesional and would be in full uniform when making a stop,marked or not. If for some reason you are getting stopped by an unmarked in no uniform you deff. did something to initiate that stop and will be joined by alot of his buddies in uniform.

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    This is what I got back from the ISP.

    1)The Indiana State Police require that the officer either be in
    uniform or a marked car. We can not take traffic enforcement action in a colored unmarked car without being in uniform.

    2)If you are concerned if the officer is an officer ask to see a
    Department issued pictured ID.


    3) If the car is marked, with Department decals, they can make the traffic stop without being in uniform.

    If a unmarked car makes a stop and the officer is not in uniform I will be happy to keep driving until his buddies in marked cars show up. However I will also be on the phone with 911 checking/reporting a false stop. Per the ISP they are not allowed to do traffic stops in unmarked cars while not in uniform.

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    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 22RSSIX View Post
    2)If you are concerned if the officer is an officer ask to see a
    Department issued pictured ID.
    Right. If you are that far into the mix then there is already a problem. In NY we have had rapes, murders, robberies and wrongful imprisonments carried out by cop impersonators making traffic stops. Some of these guys have their car lit up with all the flashers of a normal unmarked car.

    My wife is under orders to NOT stop for an unmarked car until she has contacted 911 or reached a police or fire station. By the time one is pulled over and can identify that the uniform the unmarked officer is wearing is not just a supply store or security gaurd knockoff uniform it may be too late. It has already happenned here over and over and over again. One guy was even on the list to join the NYPD.

    I have a real beef with unmarked cars running traffic. The job of the LEOs is too help protect the public. If detering speeders and such is the reason for traffic then MARKED cars will do that very well. The unmarked cars for traffic put the public and the officers at risk when interation must occur.

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    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add to what Bark'n said... Anybody can get emergency/warning lights for their car, seriously they can. A rotating beacon light is only about $30, $45 for a couple of strobe lights that you can put in your window. There are rarely restrictions on whether you can get colored lights (e.g. red/blue). Higher priced lights can go from $50-$150+ per light which are usually LED lights. (BTW: if there are a bazillion LED lights you can pretty much guarantee it's a LEO because you're talking, as Bark'n said, upwards of $2,000.)

    Another good indication is a thing called takedown lights. These are lights which are aimed for the middle of the rear window of your vehicle and are very bright. The main purpose of the lights are to illuminate the inside of the vehicle so that the LEO can see inside the vehicle while they are approaching. Another indicator is a spotlight pointed at your left side mirror. If you are unable to see the markings on the doors because you're completely blinded by the lights it's probably a LEO. Also if the approaching LEO is wearing business casual attire and has a badge on their belt on the same side as their firearm OWB, that is usually how it's worn by a LEO.

    22RSSIX said to ask for department-issued ID. All LEOs will have department-issued ID and most department require that they have it on them even in full uniform (mine does, even non-sworn personnel have to have it). Be aware that a badge is NOT an ID. Anyone can get a badge.

    Legally speaking (and don't take my word for it), if an unmarked car attempts to do a traffic stop on you and the person getting out is not in uniform, technically-speaking you have the right to leave (depending on your jurisdiction). In most jurisdictions you cannot be charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle if you do, in fact, pull over initially. In order to charge you with eluding/evading a peace officer (e.g. leaving shortly after pulling over), it can be argued that there were no indications that the vehicle or the person is actually a LEO and is clearly identifiable as one. As an example, in order to charge someone with aggravated assault on a LEO, the LEO must be readily identifiable as a LEO. The person saying that they are a LEO or displaying a badge is not enough.

    Cheers.

    Edit! Just a little reminder, take care in allowing the purported LEO to approach your vehicle. If they are a fake and you wait until they are at your window to ask for ID, etc. and do not take action before hand they can have a gun of their own pointed at you ordering you out of the car, etc. On the other hand, having a gun pointed at an actual LEO as they approach would not be a good thing either and they WILL have one of their own.
    "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms; history shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected people to carry arms have prepared their own fall." Adolf Hitler

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    Good thread. Just to add a little from experience;

    I have a real beef with unmarked cars running traffic. The job of the LEOs is too help protect the public.
    Unfortunately, it has become a necessity in my jurisdiction because of aggressive driving. I run the traffic unit for my agency and I can tell you that this helps protect the public. Did you ever see some crazy driving and say "where's the cops when you need them". Drivers have marked car "radar" while no one thinks the unmarked Dodge Charger is a cop.

    Other food for thought;

    Most people are so nervous that they don't notice the details of a lighting package on a marked car or a uniform if the Officer positions properly.

    Our unmarked cars have enough LED and strobe lighting that you probably wouldn't know it was unmarked.

    I have had a few drivers not stop for me on a highway in the early morning hours. I am OK with that, just be aware that a "failure to stop" raises the caution flag way high in the air. Eventually I got a ton of backup cars, which left no doubt to the driver that we were cops. The 911 jurisdiction was the State Police who we do not share radio frequencies with.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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