Deactivated cop cars go through lengthy remodel - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Deactivated cop cars go through lengthy remodel

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

After a man outside of Dallas used a retired police car to lure a teenager, the Amarillo Police Department is taking precautions to avoid similarly dangerous situations.

Fleet Services manages the 65 black and white patrol cars in use by the APD. When police decide to decommission a car, it is their responsibility to ensure it does not resemble an active unit.

"We take time to make sure the cars are painted black and all identifying markings and equipment are removed from of the vehicle," said Fleet Services Superintendent Glenn Lavender. "We try to do the best we can to make sure the vehicle is no longer identifiable."

Still, local law enforcement said anyone can impersonate an officer without the help of a retired vehicle. 

The addition of red lights on the front of any non-police vehicle is an automatic traffic violation and impersonating an officer is a felony.

Police encourage drivers who feel they are being pulled over by an impostor to call 911 and remain on the road.

"The dispatchers will know very quickly whether or not that person is an actual police officer," said Sgt. Brent Barbee of the Amarillo Police Department. "If they don't find out, dispatch will send unmistakable black and white cars to see if the person is legitimate."

The APD said this is one circumstance where motorists are allowed to use mobile devices while driving.

In this situation drivers are encouraged to keep a safe speed and drive to an area they deem safe.  

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