All of our vehicles that are marked squad cars — the red and blue lights on top of the car, and then the striping that says Dallas Police — that’s pretty self explanatory. If an individual that is not an actual police officer is going to pull somebody over, they will do it in a car the general public associates with police — for years, the Ford Crown Victoria. When these [police cars] go unmarked with no lights on the top, no decals whatsoever on the vehicle, most of the time they are either white or possibly black or dark blue. Lights might be in the windshield or red lights in the grill, either or both. When [criminals] pull these stunts, they usually want to do it at nighttime when there are not a lot of people around, especially during early morning hours, midnight to 6 a.m. Even on a major thoroughfare like Illinois, Westmoreland or Hampton, the traffic is cut down quite a bit. If you have a cell phone and you feel the individual behind you is not a police officer, dial 911 and tell the 911 operator where you’re at. Give as much description of your car and the car behind you as you can, and tell them, ‘I’m going to continue driving until I find a convenience store where people are there.’ You don’t want to stop in an area that’s isolated and you don’t have anyone around. The operator can go ahead and send a patrol officer over to you right away, and check to see if there is a patrol officer in the vicinity trying to make a stop. If it is an officer out there in a smooth car and he’s trying to stop somebody, and they don’t stop for him, he will be getting on the radio to report it. Once you stop, if the officer asks, ‘Ma’am or sir why didn’t you stop?’ tell him, ‘I didn’t know if it was a police car, and I wanted to go to a place where I felt safe.’ Sometimes we have little spurts of these crimes — it might happen two or three times within a 6-month period — but there’s no kind of pattern or anything like that.
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