Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My wife and I never saw the officer as we passed, so we weren’t sure if it was a City of Harriman Police car, or the Tennessee Highway Patrol, but a dark gray late model Chevrolet, with 2 flashing blue lights in the grill had a car stopped at the top of the hill coming out of Harriman, just across from Goldston’s Service Station on Monday. Whew…that was a long sentence! The vehicle had no identifying marks other than the grill lights; no blue lights on top, or even on the dash.

It was around noon, and the clean and shiny waxed vehicle, with very dark tented windows, sat just behind the stopped car, while the officer apparently wrote a ticket in the AC comfort of his/her vehicle.

My wife commented that she wasn’t sure if she would stop for a vehicle as unmarked as that one, especially at night. I thought about it as a man for a few minutes, and decided I agreed with her, which she would say was unusual!

I told her that the Harriman Police HQ was just over the hill and that if she was unsure, she should drive there before stopping.

I’m sure it means a lot to the coffers of the state and/or city, but for women this type of vehicle does create a conflict in their minds, and I don’t blame them. During the day, you could wait until you see the officer and his uniform before rolling down your window, but at night that’s impossible until he/she is standing just outside your window, just a reach away.

We’ve had such vehicles for years, both working for the state and cities across the country, but with more and more evil doers in the world these days, it’s hard to just pull to the side of a dark highway or street and wait and see what happens next. Maybe if we all just start driving “over the hill” to the police/THP/or sheriff’s office for proper identification of officers, they might start putting something on the vehicles to readily identify themselves as true officers of the law.

Maybe they could have gotten a strip across the upper windshield, stating their authority, while they were getting the illegally dark tint applied!

What do you think?


Michele said...

Even waiting to see an officer in a uniform isn't fool proof. Anyone can steal a uniform if they are slick enough!

FHB said...

My boss tells the story of being stopped by a guy once up near Gatesville. The car was unmarked and as the officer walked up he recognized that he was a county court deputy with no right to give tickets. He was just out doing it in his own car with a flashing light.

He says the guy stepped up to his window and asked for his drivers license. Jim says he just looked at the guy and said "Fuck you!" and slowly drove off.

He says the guy stood there and watched as he drove off and he never heard anything about it. The dude was just on a power trip, freelancin'.

So yea, I'd be freaked out too. If I were Judy I'd drive to the police HQ and just apologize later. Better safe than sorry. That police shit is just too easy to get ahold of now.

Bro. Byron said...

Something about those blue lights just sends a panic for some reason. One time when I was a teenager, me and one of my buddies got a blue light and stuck it in the windshield of his Volkswagen Beetle. We pulled over 2 people believe it or not. Once they saw it was a Bug though, they roared off. Ah fun times! Oh, but on a serious note, I reckon there are so many of those unmarked cruisers around these days that I wouldn't give it a second thought. Is kinda scary though.

BRUNO said...

I agree with Michele. Even a visible badge isn't proof-positive anymore, as in claiming to be "off-duty, but still doin' my job."

Indeed, drive to the nearest PD, FD, or ANY lighted-area, at night. As a matter of fact, all of the LEO's who are true "officers" will recognize the difference between the extra-cautious person, and the fleeing-from-the-law type, and generally treat you accordingly, especially at night, unless you're driving in a way that jeopardizes your own or the officers' safety.

Minimal-markings for cruisers do indeed vary widely from state-to-state, but I've never seen one yet with the type of tinting you describe. The officer must be suffering from too-many "Blue Thunder" re-runs...?

Mushy said...

It's good to get these positive comments...on RoaneViews, a local blog I post on, most of the comments imply I have something against police, AC, waxed cars, and tinted windows!

I told them I was guilty only of over describing the scene...a fault I have from blogging!

Scott from Oregon said...

How is the police to serve the public and keep it safe if the public can't find the damn police car?

Police should all be marked with the exception of special raids where marked cars will tip the hand of the officers and maybe create a warfare scenario...

Unmarked cars should NEVER do traffic stops.

PRH....... said...

The answer to the question should be NO...but they are gonna do it anyway if the 4 lane goes through their city or county.

Becky said...

Unfortunately, in Hawaii, there was a case of a guy that dressed up as a cop and killed a couple of women at night. My understandnig from police that I've met is that you're allowed to keep going until you reach a well-lit public area -- just don't change your speed so they don't think you're running (or you can call 911 and let them know what's going on and they'll send a message to the car that's following you).