Unmarked Police: Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) The Twin Falls Police Department is tasked with the job of protecting the citizens of the city.

Typically you can spot the black and white patrol cars from far off.

But the department has a fleet of unmarked vehicles keeping an eye out for drivers breaking the laws.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News takes a look at how these officers operate on a daily basis.

"You've probably driven down the street... seen somebody driving and say... man, where's a cop when you need them. The unmarked cars help us see those violations because people aren't so aware that a policeman is watching."
Said Sergeant John Wilson with the Twin Falls Police Department.

Currently the Twin Falls Police Department has roughly 8 unmarked police vehicles that are able to make traffic stops.

For 11 years the T.F.P.D. has used these unmarked cars to help crack down on traffic violations.

Typically these officers aren't looking for the minor violations.

It's the aggressive divers they're looking to crack down on.

"When I'm talking about aggressive drivers I'm not talking about somebody who does 5 miles over the speed limits or accidentally crosses the double yellow line. I'm talking about people who are running red lights... speeding 10 – 15 – 20 miles per hour over the speed limit."
Said Wilson.

In the state of Idaho, license plates are clearly marked for which county you live in.

For example… 2T in Twin Falls.

And for police vehicles, the letter 'P' clearly stands out as a police vehicle.

But according to the twin falls police department.

These vehicles legally do not have to be identified with that letter 'P'.

"The legality concerning the vehicles, is number 1... they have to have the ability to make a traffic stop... meaning the emergency lights can be seen in a 360 degree arch."
Said Wilson.

And second, the siren must be able to be heard at 10 decibels from at least 10 feet away.

But what if one of these unmarked vehicles attempt to pull you over, and you're not sure if it really is a police officer or not.

"If you're concerned that it's not a real police officer... one of the great things we have now is cell phones. Try to pull over in a place that is lit, there's other people around. If a plane cloths officer comes up to you window and starts to converse with you and you still have a concern... again, using your cell phone to contact he dispatch for that police department. Ask the officer which agency he works for. And ask for another uniformed officer to respond."
Said Wilson.

Another tip is to carefully drive directly to the police station and explain your concern when you stop.


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