Verifying Unmarked Police Cars - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Verifying Unmarked Police Cars

RICHLAND, Wash. - If you're a driver who's ever been pulled over by an unmarked police car you'll know it's tough to tell them apart from other cars on the road. Some people use that knowledge to impersonate police and hurt other drivers.

KNDU received an email last week, it talks about a convicted rapist who pretends to be a police officer and tries to pull over a young girl. But it also gives drivers a way to verify if the person pulling you over is legitimate.

The email suggests if you question who's pulling you over, get out your cell phone and dial 7-7. It said that will connect to dispatch and they'll let you know for sure. But when we called the number it didn't work.

Kennewick and Richland police said they've never heard of it. Instead police said drivers should slow down, put on their hazard lights and call 911, but officers caution use common sense first.

"This should be used only in the rare instance where you are secluded, well after hours of darkness somewhere that might make you feel uncomfortable, not just anybody with grill lights," said Capt. Mike Cobb, Richland Police Department.   

Cobb said its not unusual for an unmarked officer to pull you over, but if police do it on a busy street in broad daylight drivers have no need to worry. Cobb adds local people have impersonated unmarked cars in the past, but it's rare.