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Jan-16-2014 03:07printcomments

Oregon's Unmarked Police Cars are a Detriment to Public Safety

"It kind of freaked me out because it was like the middle of the night, and I realized this person was following me," - woman pulled over by fake unmarked cop

Oregon State Police unmarked traffic car
Look closely at this Oregon State Police unmarked traffic car and you will see it doesn't even have a government license plate.
Photo by Tim King KATU/Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - Police in Oregon are creating a haven for potentially deadly police impersonators by increasingly using unmarked cars for routine traffic stops. Oregon's political leadership needs to ban this unorthodox "secret police" program before a young Oregon woman ends up dead. Of course many women have gone missing over the years due to this practice.

Woman pulled over by fake cop

Oregon FOX-12 is reporting a story about a woman who may have come close to a bad ending. Her story typifies the problem magnified by the insistence of the law enforcement community in using this dangerous practice.

Oregon State Police even brag about their use of this deception based approach in their TV commercials; it is a grotesque in-your-face display of our tax dollars contributing to the very worst style of policing, the type based in trickery.

The police claim they need the cars to catch speeders and that is a lame, meaningless defense. Drivers slow down when a marked police unit is on the road, unmarked cars do nothing for safety at all, nothing.

Let's go to the FOX-12 report by Steve McCarron. I'll include a link below so you can read the article in its entirety.

Police: Man poses as undercover officer, pulls woman over

    Portland police are trying to identify a man who posed as an undercover police officer, pulled a woman over and searched her car.

    The victim, who does not want to be publicly identified, said she stopped at the Plaid Pantry located at Southeast Grand Avenue and East Burnside Street early Sunday morning to pick up some cigarettes for a friend. A man started talking to her after she walked out the door to head back to her car, she said.

    "And he told me that I was pretty and wanted to get my number," the woman said. "And I was just kind of like 'Ha ha, you know, maybe next time.' And then he kind of just lightly touched my hand."

    The woman didn't know then that someone else was watching her.

    She said she jumped on Interstate 5 north a few blocks away. She noticed something strange out of her side and rearview mirrors after getting off the freeway. The driver was flashing his headlights, honking his horn and flashing what appeared to be a bright light from a cell phone, she said. She thought the driver was trying to get her attention.

    "It kind of freaked me out because it was like the middle of the night, and I realized this person was following me," the woman said.

    The woman said she tried to lose the man, but it didn't work.

    She pulled over near a friend's home in North Portland to confront the driver, she said.

    The man got out, flashed a badge, and told her he was an undercover police officer, the woman said. He then made up some story about working on a sting involving the man that stopped her outside the convenience store along East Burnside Street and accused her of trying to buy drugs, she added.

    "I was like 'I didn't buy any drugs from him.' Like 'I'm not on drugs, don't do drugs.' You know, 'Feel free to search my car,'" the woman said. "And he goes, 'Oh, you give me permission to search your car?' I was like 'Yeah, go ahead.'"


As long as police are allowed to use this gestapo ("secret police" in German) approach, Oregonians are at risk. Our wives and daughters driving alone at night are the biggest targets. Police who push for unmarked cars are irresponsible and there are no exceptions, it is all for their egos and their city/county/state's tax coffers and nothing else, they jeopardize everyone's safety to have fun with their taxpayer supplied gas guzzling hot rods and trick hard working citizens into getting tickets. Besides, almost all of them find themselves above the law and speed and violate traffic laws almost routinely, without regard for ever being pulled over themselves.

Then just last month on the freeway south of Salem, a detective and another plain clothes LE officer went after a speeder while driving an unmarked car, and then when the guy finally pulled over they shot him. The man reportedly pulled a weapon out, but like the woman in the article above by FOX-12, it happened at night and how did he know they were legitimate cops? (Man Shot After Being Pulled Over by Detective in Unmarked Police Car)

This is total bullshit and the law enforcement community should be ashamed. Just last week I saw the gestapo cars lined up at the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office in McMinnville.

So now let's get to the meat of it: according to Kevin Schmadeka of Wahington, the whole practice of using unmarked cars for traffic enforcement is illegal according to Washington state law. I find this very interesting, and suggest reading the article about Kevin's efforts to change the widespread use of unmarked cars for traffic enforcement in his state. (Washington Judge Tosses Citation Issued in Unmarked Police Car Traffic Stop)

Regarding Oregon, it does appear to be legal for police to use the gestapo cars if they are properly uniformed and wearing a badge, unlike the detective who shot the driver on the freeway last month after pulling him over with an unmarked vehicle. Oregonians, put your foot down and demand an end to this irresponsible type of policing.




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cameron September 25, 2015 2:33 pm (Pacific time)

Why hasn't a petition been started to change this??


Anonymous January 16, 2014 4:39 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Tim, regarding your article, I was told off the record years ago by a 35 year veteran CHP sergeant to never pull over for any law enforcement in an area you feel unsafe in, or if you are unsure of who is pulling you over... but instead to continue to area you feel safe or to simply call 911 and explain the situation and to verify it. If the agency is CHP for instance and you are looking for safe area (well lit, in view, etc) you will be OK. He said to put hazard lights on to acknowledge them. He said you have this right.

For instance, I was driving between Yuma and El Centro one night and noticed car on overpass and it followed me and flashed lights and put on an old red light. I felt uncomfortable but pulled over.... it was some Mexican guy in plain clothes said he was undercover and asked if I had any guns or drugs. I said no, he asked to see my glove box. I mentioned my CHP friend and he said OK I could go... what I believe is that he was a pulling a scam. After that I always told everyone the advice I failed to take.

Hope this helps. 

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