In light of recent incidents where motorists within Los Angeles County have encountered individuals impersonating peace officers, the California Highway Patrol offers the following advice:
If you can determine that the vehicle behind you is displaying red lights and/or sounding a siren and is clearly marked as a police vehicle (i.e. black and white with identifying insignia on the driver and passenger door panels), do the following:
If you can’t determine if the police vehicle is legitimate, do the following:
While infrequent, there are legitimate traffic stops conducted by unmarked local, state, and or federal agencies. While these types of vehicles can vary in make/model, in many cases you would still see at least one solid red light, a siren as necessary, in addition to the law enforcement officer displaying distinctively marked clothing, a badge, or other credentials. Once the officer positively identifies his/her self, comply with their requests.
If you’ve been contacted or stopped recently by someone you suspect is impersonating a police officer, immediately contact your local Law Enforcement Agency to submit your tip.