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  • Tac Units: Can they pull you over?

    In Chicago, can a Tac unit (in an unmarked vehicle) pull you over for a traffic violation? I've always heard that it's against the rules for tac/unmarked units mainly because it's not hard for a civilian to dress their Crown Vic with strobes, lights & sirens and run some impersonation scheme. I've been pulled over and consented to searches when they would tell me they pulled me over for not using my turn signal. My brother (who wants to be in CPD) and I always argue this back and forth; me saying they can't and him saying they can (with his basis being they can do anything a marked beat car can do).

    I got pulled over yesterday by a tac unit 'cause they claimed my brake light didn't work. They told me to get out and observe how my brake light didn't light up while his partner (allegedly) pressed the brake pedal. After they found out I'm an electrical engineer and went to one of the top high schools in the state (even tested me with former teacher names) guess they figured I wasn't up to anything. But that whole ordeal brought my original question up about whether they can pull you over for stuff like that. I think I was in 023 when it happened (was heading to 020).

    Not that it really makes any difference but if a Tac unit pulls you over because they think you're suspicious, why don't they just say that, instead of making up stories about how something doesn't work or 'why does this car come back stolen', etc.? I have much love for cops but when a cop lies to me...makes me wonder.
    Last edited by Area3Citizen; 10-05-2007, 11:30 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 460.475_1617 View Post
    In Chicago, can a Tac unit (in an unmarked vehicle) pull you over for a traffic violation? I've always heard that it's against the rules for tac/unmarked units mainly because it's not hard for a civilian to dress their Crown Vic with strobes, lights & sirens and run some impersonation scheme. I've been pulled over and consented to searches when they would tell me they pulled me over for not using my turn signal. My brother (who wants to be in CPD) and I always argue this back and forth; me saying they can't and him saying they can (with his basis being they can do anything a marked beat car can do).

    I got pulled over yesterday by a tac unit 'cause they claimed my brake light didn't work. They told me to get out and observe how my brake light didn't light up while his partner (allegedly) pressed the brake pedal. After they found out I'm an electrical engineer and went to one of the top high schools in the state (even tested me with former teacher names) guess they figured I wasn't up to anything. But that whole ordeal brought my original question up about whether they can pull you over for stuff like that. I think I was in 023 when it happened (was heading to 020).

    Not that it really makes any difference but if a Tac unit pulls you over because they think you're suspicious, why don't they just say that, instead of making up stories about how something doesn't work or 'why does this car come back stolen', etc.? I have much love for cops but when a cop lies to me...makes me wonder.
    Yes they can pull you over. Yes they even can write tickets. They are authorized to do anything a marked car can do for the most part.

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    • #3
      If I was you I would be seriously wondering why I was getting pulled over so much.

      I have a neighbor that has the same problem and asked me the question as to why.. I bluntly told him that it's because he looks like a gang banger, including his car.

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      • #4
        Just as an aside.. I do not mean you look like one. Just sharing a related experience.

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        • #5
          SeVere, so for a traffic violation, they are permitted?

          rolt, I understand what you mean. I don't get pulled over so much that it makes me question, "Why do I consistently get pulled over??" I do look like a kid when I drive (I'm like 5'5"), I do have tinted windows (only in the back, and I just got it on impulse after my car was broken into), and I don't sit upright. I don't have rims or some super loud audio system, but I like to keep my car clean, nothing wrong with that. I don't dress with a doo-rag & fitted with my pants down to my knees, and when I am playing my music, it's some Curtis, Marvin, Womack or Al (even though I'm an 80s baby). I do have subs since music doesn't stop @ 100Hz, no matter what genre, and I'm also a recording engineer so it's a must for me to be able to accurately reproduce music (semi-audiophile, though not rich enough to be a true audiophile).

          I understand they're tac for a reason so if you get pulled over for a traffic violation, my take is that you're either really suspicious or there were no blue & whites around that would be able to handle it for them. Nothing against them (or should I say you all) in any way, just a question.

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          • #6


            Unmarked Police Car
            Last edited by SeVere; 10-05-2007, 04:01 PM. Reason: Double Post

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 460.475_1617 View Post
              SeVere, so for a traffic violation, they are permitted?

              rolt, I understand what you mean. I don't get pulled over so much that it makes me question, "Why do I consistently get pulled over??" I do look like a kid when I drive (I'm like 5'5"), I do have tinted windows (only in the back, and I just got it on impulse after my car was broken into), and I don't sit upright. I don't have rims or some super loud audio system, but I like to keep my car clean, nothing wrong with that. I don't dress with a doo-rag & fitted with my pants down to my knees, and when I am playing my music, it's some Curtis, Marvin, Womack or Al (even though I'm an 80s baby). I do have subs since music doesn't stop @ 100Hz, no matter what genre, and I'm also a recording engineer so it's a must for me to be able to accurately reproduce music (semi-audiophile, though not rich enough to be a true audiophile).

              I understand they're tac for a reason so if you get pulled over for a traffic violation, my take is that you're either really suspicious or there were no blue & whites around that would be able to handle it for them. Nothing against them (or should I say you all) in any way, just a question.
              Traffic, Speeding, red light, stop sign, you name it. They can write you a ticket just as easy as let you off with a warning. Looking like an underage kid driving is enough reasonable suspicion to stop you.

              There is no policy prohibiting a tac car from enforcing traffic law even if it is as simple as no seat belts.

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              • #8
                Thanks SeVere for clearing it up. Are you in a Tac unit? Are tac officers "above" regular officers? This could be as simple as having to be on the job X amount of time before you can be tac. My brother doesn't want to do the regular patrol and wants to hop right into a gangs tac unit.
                Last edited by Area3Citizen; 10-05-2007, 06:31 PM.

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                • #9
                  Everyone starts out in patrol. Then with time on and experience you can put in for specialty groups (i.e. tac units and what not).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 460.475_1617 View Post
                    My brother doesn't want to do the regular patrol and wants to hop right into a gangs tac unit.
                    God I LOVE that attitude It amazes me the number of people that have NO clue on how being the Police works. Yeah, let's put you in "Gangs" when you haven't even written one parking ticket before Yeah, the Tac Officer with NO, ZERO, NADA Patrol work will really have a clue. Am I ranting, hell yes I am. Wish some guys would stop watching TV and start learning what real life is about. You will be NOTHING but a beat cop once you get out (which is something to be VERY proud of). No Tac, no Gangs, no running around in plainclothes driving a "cool" unmarked car, no CSI crap, no SWAT, no K-9, no coumputer crimes, no 'deep cover', NOTHING. You will be out there, IF your FTO's and Dept. even DEEM you as worthy to wear the Badge after the Academy and be on your own in a squad. Then you will push a squad through your beat, take your fair share of crap calls, boring nights and moments of insanity. You will write your movers, parkers and make boring Retail Theft arrests and hopefully make some good pinches alongthe way. Maybe, just maybe, if years down the road you show you are worth a damn and are in the right place at the right time, MAYBE you will make it in a "specialized" unit.

                    Rant off
                    www.saveavet.org

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dogcop View Post
                      God I LOVE that attitude It amazes me the number of people that have NO clue on how being the Police works.
                      I sat on a number of interview panels for applicants. I saw the same thing. Surprising how many kids just out of college think they should go directly into investigations or some other specialized unit. I'd always ask them why they thought they were suited for investigations. Some of the answers! A couple said they would be good at investigations because they had done research for papers in college. One said that he would be good in investigations because when watching cop movies he could always figure out who done it before the end of the movie. One said he'd be good at investigations because he was good at sneaking around houses in the dark and could spy on people. That answer required some follow up with the PD in his area.
                      They don't have a clue but they all think it's like TV. In each of those specific cases we let them find employment elsewhere where their "talents" might be utilized in some other job.
                      183 FBINA

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                      • #12
                        I'm almost the total opposite of that. Not that I'd never want to be promoted or do something different than patrol but I think I would find patrol to be quite enjoyable due to the fact that there would be so much variety. Not saying that investigations or tac doesn't have variety, though.

                        I think it'd be pretty cool to work patrol.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dogcop View Post
                          You will be NOTHING but a beat cop once you get out (which is something to be VERY proud of). No Tac, no Gangs, no running around in plainclothes driving a "cool" unmarked car, no CSI crap, no SWAT, no K-9, no coumputer crimes, no 'deep cover', NOTHING. You will be out there, IF your FTO's and Dept. even DEEM you as worthy to wear the Badge after the Academy and be on your own in a squad.
                          Obviously you haven't heard of the new super secret Leonardo Dicaprio route in going straight from the academy into a British department of black ops fighting the Chinese Mafia and the evil forces of Huggy Bear (aka Snoop Doggy Dog). Silly old-timer.

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                          • #14
                            You mean being the PO-lice isn't like "Training Day" the movie???
                            www.saveavet.org

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ISPCAPT View Post
                              I sat on a number of interview panels for applicants. I saw the same thing. Surprising how many kids just out of college think they should go directly into investigations or some other specialized unit.
                              I had a guy that I worked with during college (non-LEO job) that would get off work....and watch Law and Order for hours.....and was convinced that he could do the job.....

                              He got ****-canned by about 20 different agencies in the KCMO area because he would always tell them in the interviews that he was ready to go into INVs............and not want to start off at the Patrol level.....

                              He's selling insurance now.....and that's a real good place for him....

                              Comment

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