AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Getting pulled over by police happens even to the best drivers from time to time. It is usually pretty standard — turn on your hazards, slow down, pull to the side of the road and wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. But what should you do if you suspect it’s not a real officer who’s pulling you over?
When it comes to someone unlawfully pulling you over, there are some important things to keep in mind. We sat down with Cpl. Jeb Hilton from the Amarillo Police Department for best practices.
Cpl. Hilton said if you suspect the person pulling you over is not a real police officer to look at their lights. Police have red and blue flashing lights that flash intermittently at you. They will also have a badge, or some kind of identification, even those in unmarked cars.
“If it’s something where you feel at the time or you can recognize that this is not a police officer that has you pulled over, then roll up your window, lock your doors and drive away. Immediately call 911. We want to know so we can get to that scene and find out who this is and find out what they’re doing,” said Cpl. Hilton.
Cpl. Hilton said you also want to get a good description of the person and vehicle for 911, but in a way that does not put you in danger.
Cpl. Hilton told us any time you don’t feel comfortable, make it clear you are pulling over but drive to a well-lit area so you can make a better determination and call 911 to verify if it is an officer behind you.
Cpl. Hilton said it is also possible to see a police officer or deputy from another town or state making a traffic stop. He said it is legal for them to do so provided they have a vehicle with police lights on it.
It is a third-degree felony to impersonate an officer.