(HURON COUNTY, ON) - In light of recent events that have taken place in Nova Scotia as well as occurrences within the region of individuals posing as police officers it is understandable people have concerns and questions on how to handle a traffic stop if they feel it's not legitimate.
As such, Huron County OPP would like to provide the public with the following tips and suggestions to help alleviate any fears and concerns.
Firstly, the safety of all occupants in your vehicle is paramount. If you suspect you have been pulled over by a police impersonator immediately call 9-1-1. Do not get out of your vehicle and if possible try to get the licence plate of the suspect vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.
What should I do if I am being pulled over in an isolated area by an unmarked vehicle?
Answer: Slow down, drive in a safe manner to the nearest well-lit populated area and if this is not possible.
Lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your car running.
If you have a cell phone, take it out and in full view of the person that pulled you over dial 9-1-1.
Provide the 9-1-1 dispatcher your location and express your concern.
Ask the dispatcher if they have had any communication with an officer about a stop in the area and if so have them relay your concerns to the officer.
Citizens may ask to see an officer's badge and warrant card. Some officers and off-duty officers may not be wearing uniforms but they should be able to provide you with the name of their service, detachment, badge number, rank, and produce a badge and warrant card without delay.
If you're still not satisfied you may request an uniformed officer to be present or you can ask the person to proceed to a more populated area and you can advise the dispatcher where you are heading to and proceed.
Police impersonation is not a common event however it is considered a serious offence that carries penalties up to and including imprisonment upon conviction.
Any person with information about a police impersonator is asked to contact the OPP by calling 1-888-310-1122.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.