Do undercover cops have government plates?

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How To Identify Undercover Cop Cars?

Unmarked police vehicles can often be recognized by features like municipal plates, clusters of antennas, and dark tinted windows. When you’re scrutinizing a could-be cop in person, look out for short, neatly-groomed military hairstyles, heavy-duty boots, or baggy clothing with lots of pockets.

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Are undercover cop cars legal?

“Unmarked patrol vehicles have long been in use by the WSP for various traffic enforcement duties. … There is nothing illegal about the use of these vehicles for traffic and other law enforcement duties.

How to Spot an Unmarked Cop Car – The News Wheel

thenewswheel.com

 · Obviously not every white, black, or grey car is an undercover police officer. However, it’s not likely an undercover cop will be found in a blue, red, or other bright colored car.

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Cop Cars Online Cars For Sale – Largo, FL – CarGurus

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Cop Cars Online. 12600 B Belcher Rd Largo, FL 33773 https://www.copcarsonline.com. Sales: (727) 536-2677. Inventory; Sales Reviews (13) New Search. Filter Results New / Used / CPO (Clear all filters) Coronavirus update: New contactless services to …

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Extra Mirrors?

Nope. These strange bubble, mirror-like objects that are often on the front of police windshields are actually spotlights. Powered by the car’s system, these lights can shine almost endlessly. Officers could use them from inside the car and without even rolling down the window. While you may occasionally still see them on decommissioned cop cars, these extra spotlights on the front of a car along with the previous mentioned criterias all serve as a strong sign that you’re being followed by a cop.

How to Spot an Unmarked Police Car

On the back of the car, look for inconspicuous pla
On the back of the car, look for inconspicuous plate

1. On the back of the car, look for inconspicuous plates. Unmarked police cars are frequently outfitted with customized municipal license plates. Municipal license plates, as opposed to regular license plates, usually only include a brief series of numbers. This may be enough to distinguish them at first look.

  • Municipal plates may be stamped with the letters “MU” at the end in some situations.
  • Some unmarked patrol cars are even required to display the name of the local police agency on their license plates.

Tip: The Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Charger Pursuit, Chevrolet Impala, and Hummer H3 are among the most popular police cars in North America.

 Look for an unusually large number of radio anten
Look for an unusually large number of radio antennae on the roof or trunk.

2. Look for an unusually large number of radio antennae on the roof or trunk. Cops must maintain frequent contact with headquarters as well as other cops. Unfortunately for them, there is no viable method to conceal the massive number of antennas required to make this happen. A cop car may have up to 4-5 different antennae, but most consumer vehicles only have one or two.

  • Keep in mind that retractable power antennae may not always be visible.
  • Puck antennas, which are small and spherical and designed to blend in with the car’s paint job, are now being installed on an increasing number of patrol vehicles. These can be more difficult to capture, but they still have a unique appearance.
 Identify any out-of-place lights on the grill or
Identify any out-of-place lights on the grill or in the side mirrors.

3. Identify any out-of-place lights on the grill or in the side mirrors. Examine the vehicle’s front end to see if you can spot a row of flashers situated between the headlights. Searchlights on the side mirrors may be used in conjunction with emergency lights. Both of these characteristics are a dead giveaway that the vehicle is a disguised patrol car.

  • If there isn’t a light bar on the grill, look towards the bottom of the rear windshield, right over the third row of seats. It might be at one location but not the other.
  • It is illegal for citizens to operate vehicles equipped with emergency lights, therefore if you see one, you can be certain that it is driven by an officer.
 Check to see whether the vehicle has a push bumpe
Check to see whether the vehicle has a push bumper.

4. Check to see whether the vehicle has a push bumper. A push bumper (also known as a “bullbar,” “crashbar,” or “bumpbar”) is a cage-like structure that fits over a vehicle’s front bumper to protect it in the case of an accident and make it simpler to drive other cars off the road. They’re a standard feature of police vehicles and may be found on any make, model, or type of vehicle.

The bulk of civilian cars equipped with push bumpers are bigger versions like Hummers, Jeeps, and pickup trucks. Due to their improved speed and agility, police forces are known to put them on cars.

 Dark window tinting is to be expected.
Dark window tinting is to be expected.

5. Dark window tinting is to be expected. It’s not unusual to see a car with tinted windows—many luxury automobiles come standard with it. The windows of a police car, on the other hand, are normally significantly darker, especially at the front. The goal is to make it more difficult for other drivers to see inside, but it has the unexpected consequence of making the automobile itself more visible.

The appearance of tinted windows isn’t enough to guarantee that a certain car is being driven by a police officer, but it may be a key indicator when combined with other cues.

Recognizing Unusual Behavior

 Anyone you don’t know who tries to gain you
Anyone you don’t know who tries to gain your trust should be avoided.

1. Anyone you don’t know who tries to gain your trust should be avoided. If you have an encounter with a stranger who appears unusually nice or curious and your intuition tells you that something isn’t quite right, listen to it. The only purpose of an undercover officer is to gather information from civilians while appearing to be one of them.

  • There’s a distinction between someone who’s merely making small conversation and someone who appears to be wanting something.
  • Consider it a red warning if you start getting pointed inquiries such, “How old are you?” or “Do you know who’s giving this party?”
 Pay attention to folks who don’t seem to fi
Pay attention to folks who don’t seem to fit in anywhere.

2. Pay attention to folks who don’t seem to fit in anywhere. Scan the crowd for anyone who stands out, then attempt to pinpoint what makes them unique. At a punk rock event, a middle-aged, tattoo-free guy with a buzz cut could just appreciate loud music. But there’s a chance he’s there to catch a drug dealer, especially if there’s no headbanging going on.

  • Ask yourself what it is about the individual that distinguishes them from everyone else: is it the way they appear, how they dress, or how they act?

Warning: There are no restrictions on the kind of attire, activities, or events that anyone can participate in. Make sure you have a legitimate cause for singling out someone; else, you’re merely stereotyping.

 In public settings, look for mismatched couples.
In public settings, look for mismatched couples.

3. In public settings, look for mismatched couples. In some situations, an undercover cop will be accompanied by a partner on risky or high-stakes tasks. Because officers don’t often get to choose who they hang around with, the two of them may appear to be an unusual couple. They’ll probably stay near to one other, although they might not talk much or even recognize each other.

  • Two people with significant age or cultural differences loitering alone on a street corner, for example, may be there for police rather than personal reasons.
 Any behaviors or hobbies that don’t add up
Any behaviors or hobbies that don’t add up should be investigated.

4. Any behaviors or hobbies that don’t add up should be investigated. Examine any obvious discrepancies that appear when you’re viewing or engaging with the person with skepticism. They might be a flaw in the structure. Overhearing a fresh-faced college student order an expensive brandy or seeing a self-proclaimed environmentalist step behind the wheel of a gas guzzler should hopefully alert you to the fact that something is not right.

  • People are complicated. Don’t assume someone is a cop just because they refuse a drink or say The Wire is their favorite TV show.
 Avoid attracting undue attention to the individua
Avoid attracting undue attention to the individual or yourself.

5. Avoid attracting undue attention to the individual or yourself. If you believe you have accurately recognized an undercover officer, don’t speak or do anything that would interfere with their responsibilities. Making a scene might put them in imminent danger or land you in jail for obstruction of justice. Remember that they are there to uphold the law and protect you and the other people with whom they interact.

  • Some individuals think that if you ask an undercover officer if they’re a cop, they have a legal obligation to tell you the truth. This does not work in real life, and you risk causing problems by asking the question at the incorrect time or location.

“Exempt” License Plate

By Texas law, certain government vehicles can be registered using an exempt fee status. You could recognize these license plates by looking for the word “EXEMPT” either on top in red or at the bottom of the plate in navy blue. So if the plate has this word, then it’s highly likely this is either a cop car or other county/city/state government type vehicle.

Hear Mark Thiessen talk about why “exempt” license plates are the easiest way to spot an undercover cop car:

The problem with trying to spot undercover cops

This post is for informational purposes only. Cop-spotting is an inexact science and the stakes are high—even if you see a dude pull up to your protest in a 2021 Challenger rocking a new haircut and a pair of cargo pants, he might be a normal suburban guy interested in radical politics, or an off-duty cop hired by rally organizers to provide security. Conversely, because cops aren’t (necessarily) idiots, they might have none of the above traits and look more like they belong than you do.

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If you’re engaged in anything organized and illegal or politically controversial, there’s a good chance someone around you is monitoring it, and the depressing fact is there’s not much you can do about it. Undercover cops have a ridiculous amount of leeway in what they can do, up to and including committing crimes themselves, so beyond maybe warning other people to look out for someone sketchy, the best you can do is keep your nose clean.

 

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