NJSP using new "ghost car".

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johnls7424

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Readington Township PD vehicles deploy the same tactics. Their entire fleet are designed like that with low profile design and decals as well as hidden antennas, etc. I'm surprised the State Police haven't deployed more over vehicles like this over the years.
 

TAMR213

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Same thing in Highland Park, although there are "marked" cars, they've taken delivery of a few stealth Chargers and Fords.
 

nr2d

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I've several local PDs in Camden County including the officer living across the street from me in Laurel Springs using these for months.
 

yaknamedjak

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Does a lighthead that's custom flush-mounted like that versus surface mounted really make a difference? Looks expensive.

If you can make out a lighthead its probably too late anyway lol


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902

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There were some departments in other parts of the country who have been doing that for highway enforcement for a while. I'm sure NJSP didn't just jump on a whim without doing research, but I have a couple of issues (I know, another country heard from).

First, black is invisible at night. Sure, they don't want to be seen so they can pop out like a barracuda after that reckless fish, but once they stop, bright lighting actually seems to draw impaired or inattentive drivers rather than warn them. It's the same thing with red and black fire apparatus. The eye is "night blind" to the color red. It looks like black. And black is... well... black.

Second, unmarked vehicles doing stops. There are a bunch of charlatans who span the continuum from wannabes to predators who have exploited this over the years. I'd be worried if I saw lights on what didn't look like a law enforcement vehicle behind me on McCarter Highway, for instance. On one hand, I've heard the highway advisory radios telling motorists to be aware of them, but on the other, sometimes not stopping is not taken well.

I hope there's additional public education and internal training. I love how they're putting this out there. For all I know, there could only be one of these, or there could be a hundred. It doesn't matter, they have people looking over their shoulders now, maybe thinking they should be a little more careful and courteous.

My home state State Troopers always make me proud. Fundamentally, I think it's a fantastic idea that they are aggressively going after the worst of the worst motor vehicle violators. I wish them much success and safety and hope the 2015 shore season has historic lows in collisions and fatalities.
 

Evgeni

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I don't like unmarkeds, these quasi unmarked, and flat tops being used for traffic enforcement.

All cars, trucks, SUVs used for traffic enforcement should be clearly marked and have a roof mounted beacon.
 
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KB7MIB

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I'm sure that if the issue with fake cops attempting to conduct traffic stops becomes too much of a problem, then agencies using ghost and unmarked cars for traffic enforcement will reconsider their use, at least between the hours of dusk and dawn, and/or on less traveled roadways
I'd still want them patrolling during daylight hours on the interstates and turnpikes.

I've also heard agencies publicly stating that if you have any question in regards to a vehicle without a roof mounted lightbar attempting to pull you over, that you should: 1) call 9-1-1 to confirm if it is a legitimate officer; 2) put your hazard lights on, and proceed to a safe, public place before pulling over; and 3) you can ask for a marked unit to respond. If you do 1 and 2, the officer will understand, and there won't be any issues with doing so, beyond the reason for the initial stop. As for #3, that may depend on the availability and estimated response time of the next nearest officer.

If you simply ignore and refuse to stop, period, for a ghost or unmarked car, then you're probably going to have further issues. As well as getting many marked and unmarked cars responding.

Of course, if people would simply folllow the traffic laws at all times, and not just when they see a fully marked unit with a roof lightbar, then maybe agencies wouldn't feel the need to use unmarked, ghost or even low profile slick tops in traffic enforcement, to catch the violators. Especially the arrogant ones who think they're a much better driver than they actually are. (Maybe you are an excellant driver. Congratulations. But, there are many out there who aren't. And it could be one of them that gets in your way unexpectedly, when you're speeding, or swerving in and out of traffic, or something. You could also spook someone into doing the wrong thing. Then there's always the possibility of your vehicle, or another's, having a mechanical failure, or a tire blowing out at the very worst possible moment. Slow down, and reign in your aggressiveness and arrogance. The life you save may be your own.)

John
Peoria, AZ
 

SCPD

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At a member's request I'm copying two posts from a similar Arizona thread. #1:

The traffic enforcement officer on our local police department drives a white vehicle with subdued markings on it. It does not have a light bar on the roof, but red and blue lights are mounted in the grill and the center top of the windshield. The CHP uses all white sedans of a model that differs from the rest of the fleet. It doesn't bother me in the least and I also like the idea. People that violate traffic laws need to be caught, especially those who speed, make unsafe lane changes and fail to stop for pedestrians. This type of driving endangers others on the road at the same time.. Many drivers ignore the posted chain requirements and slide and spin into those who have the proper tires and chains installed.

The cars the chief of police and the one lieutenant drive are unmarked. I've ridden with both of them and sometimes they have to pull someone over due to the danger the driver is immediately causing. They usually call a marked unit to make the stop, but if the danger has to be stopped they have to take immediate action. I don't have a problem with this either.

The markings on the side of the vehicle are not hidden as they are quite easily noticed when viewed. They just are not as noticeable as the regular markings. People violating the law often don't look around them much and that lack of focus can be factor in poor driving.

I live in an area where a heavily trafficked U.S. Highway is the main street of 9 different towns. If any traffic enforcement of the needed speed limit in those towns the drivers that notice this and those who are ticketed call them "speed traps" and "just done to collect revenue." They call these towns "hick towns" and other urban condescending names. These are great places to live and trying to cross main street is often scary. There isn't enough speed enforcement, in my opinion, having lived/spent time in small towns where people will drive 55-70 in 25 and 35 mph zones. Try crossing the street in a marked sidewalk when vehicles are traveling that speed, especially when you have a couple of 3-7 year old kids in tow.

I don't need to worry about the markings, or lack thereof, on a police car. I drive the speed limit and obey the law. Doing so removes much of the stress of driving.

"Speed trap" is a term used by those who speed and don't want to be bothered to slow down in towns. It is similar to "activist judge," which really stands for a judge who makes a decision you don't like.
 
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SCPD

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#2:

The traffic enforcement vehicle that I mentioned in my other post is more clearly marked than that one.

Someone mentioned military type gear being worn by police officers. If officers face criminals who are using similar gear do you want those officers to have less firepower and protection than those shooting at them. A lot was learned when the bank shooting in North Hollywood occurred several years ago. The officers had no protective gear and did not have assault rifles. A lot of trouble and injuries to the officers and the public would have been avoided had the officers been equipped properly. LEO's and rangers working for the NPS, USFS, BLM and USFWS carry such gear at all times as drug related shootings are probable on public lands with the nearest backup being up to several hours away. Again, do you expect these officers to do their jobs if they are under equipped?

A lot of people who violate the law could care less about anyone else, are heavily armed and don't hesitate to fire on officers. I was camping in Death Valley National Park when a car driven by "sovereign citizens" refused to stop for a NHP officer, began traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour and fired at other NHP officers and Nye County, Nevada deputies before entering the east side of the park. They then fired at NPS protection rangers and a NPS patrol plane. They hit a CHP helo and forced it to land due to an oil leak, then started firing at officers in the aircraft with some high caliber rifles. at one point they were walking toward the campground I was in, a distance of less than 1[4 mile. The officers needed assault type rifles and protective gear that is somewhat similar to combat gear to face the threat they had.

It can happen in small towns and remote rural areas even though many would not expect such to happen. Rangers and LEO's of the Coronado and Cleveland National Forests, BLM Gila District (Tuscon), BLM Phoenix District, BLM California Desert District, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Chiricahua National Monument, Coronado National Memorial; USFWS Cabeza Prieta, Buenos Aires, San Bernardino (Arizona) and San Diego Complex (California) National Wildlife Refuges better have military type gear given the dangers they face. Do you expect an officer to approach a home with an armed and dangerous murder suspect without such gear? Those officers need as much protection as they can get. Would you rather the officer approach in a regular uniform? Would you rather have them not confront suspects? Would you patrol these areas and arrest a murder suspect without the best protective gear available? I don't think so as most of the population does not have to confront people in the way law enforcement does and avoid confrontation when they face it.
 

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Here is LAPD's version of Ghost Cars, they don't even exist!

LAPD commanders used ‘ghost cars’ to fake staffing levels
As a retired U.S. Forest Service employee I can see the real cause of this LAPD ghost car situation. The Congress, a president, a governor, the state's legislature, a mayor, a city council or the top brass of a PD hand down a mandate for performance. The people closer to the ground are then given no additional resources to accomplish the mandate. The mandate is given in response to the problems of not having enough people on the ground and the mandate does nothing to treat the cause, it only addresses the symptom. Then lower level management is penalized for not accomplishing the mandate even though the root cause is not at all addressed, a cause that only has solutions upper management and politicians can address. In my opinion they are the people who ought to be given the reprimands and poor performance ratings. They aren't out there facing danger, dying, being assaulted and cleaning up the vomit in the back seat of the patrol cars. They just sit back and invent unrealistic mandates that don't address the problem at all.

This is an exchange with a Glendale, California PD Sergeant I met at a community picnic in the small resort town I live in.

ME: I see you must be in your late 40's or early 50's, why didn't you work for a promotion to lieutenant?

PD SERGEANT: Well, long ago, I decided I wanted to work for a living and I didn't see any reason to change.

I climbed the career ladder quickly early in my career and ended up in lower management 6 years after I started. After 7 years of that I applied for a field supervisor position that required I take a voluntary downgrade. It was the best decision of my career and it was great to start working for a living again. I never had any desire to promote back up again and I retired at the field supervisor level. Yea, I know all about performance mandates.

I should relate that management is not at all easy and can be ultra frustrating at times. As a field supervisor management trusted me and wanted me in on decisions. At the same time the people below me depended on me to train, supervise, back them up, get them what they needed and work their jobs on occasion to understand what they were facing. I had to use my brain at the same time I was wearing out the soles of my boots. What a wonderful position to be in and that is why you see so many PD sergeants, FD battalion chiefs, floor or shift supervisors or whatever level that is equivalent to a sergeant with the signature salt and pepper hair. They know what is good and they stay there. They know better than anyone what it is like to be given poorly thought out mandates.

We used some "ghost cars" as well." I used a "ghost uniform" on occasion where I dressed in construction overalls with my uniform underneath and walked around in campgrounds and along lake shores. I focused on problem areas and places we received public complaints about due to that portion of the population who could give a lick about anyone else but themselves or the damage they did to resources. I call them the "aggressively apathetic" part of the population. I could immerse myself into the visiting public and see what was really going on. I would then take off the coveralls allowing me to be seen in full uniform. I would then take action right on the spot, with some very surprised people. I solved a lot of chronic problems with this technique. My ghost uniform was not much different from these ghost cars.

I worked for both the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service during my career and "fondly" recall a couple of hostile presidents and congresses.
 
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AC2OY

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I try very hard not to speed in New Jersey anymore😔. When I rode my motorcycle it was quite expensive. In case anybody was wondering I never ran for them I just pulled over and felt shame. I realized not to put anybody at risk other then myself at that point.
 

SCPD

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unmarked

I don't like unmarkeds, these quasi unmarked, and flat tops being used for traffic enforcement.

All cars, trucks, SUVs used for traffic enforcement should be clearly marked and have a roof mounted beacon.
Yes or it should be considered "entrapment"when you get pulled over by an unmarked.How do you know the State Police have a car like this or any oddball car or truck that doesnt look anything like their fleet?AKA government motors.
Q: Why didnt you pull over?
A No disrespect but,Honestly I didnt know!

I think everyone would respect the police more if they labeled all their cars and stopped trying to hide like some sort of military initiative,secret thing.
Also, how come the police can tint their front windows and pedestrians cant?You can hide from me but I cant keep the sun out of my eyes?Very Unfair.

Any idiot can buy a blue light or siren.
A P71 car is easy to buy.....Not that I condone any of this thing,but there are people that like used cop cars for their heavy duty engines....
This one is not really a ghost car,it does have markings on the side faintly...They do have cars with no markings Im sure!


PS AC2OY is full of crap with the Im trying not to speed thing,come on Mike.....Even off duty + on duty cops speed!(not all)

Getting ready for some 8 callsign to disagree with what I said...
 
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AC2OY

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Dude I drive a 2009 Civic!!! It's takes me 37 seconds to build up enough speed to get on the highway. With me old Gixxer I used to roost cars in 3rd gear taching about 9 grand!!!!!!! That ***** just kept pulling like a high hooker!!!!!!
 

SCPD

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Yes or it should be considered "entrapment"when you get pulled over by an unmarked.How do you know the State Police have a car like this or any oddball car or truck that doesnt look anything like their fleet?AKA government motors.
Q: Why didnt you pull over?
A No disrespect but,Honestly I didnt know!

I think everyone would respect the police more if they labeled all their cars and stopped trying to hide like some sort of military initiative,secret thing.
Also, how come the police can tint their front windows and pedestrians cant?You can hide from me but I cant keep the sun out of my eyes?Very Unfair.

Any idiot can buy a blue light or siren.
A P71 car is easy to buy.....Not that I condone any of this thing,but there are people that like used cop cars for their heavy duty engines....
This one is not really a ghost car,it does have markings on the side faintly...They do have cars with no markings Im sure!


PS AC2OY is full of crap with the Im trying not to speed thing,come on Mike.....Even off duty + on duty cops speed!(not all)

Getting ready for some 8 callsign to disagree with what I said...
I recall once a study found roof beacons or excess beacon (light bar) patrol cars were more likely to be rear ended on the side of a highway then one with basic minimal deck lights and not overkill. I also recall chp and michagan highway patrol or state police which ever goes by that way found more traffic yielded to a single bubble gum on roof and or a single red steady halogen hanging in front window visar back in day or spot light red steady. This was many many years back.
 

SCPD

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At a member's request I'm copying two posts from a similar Arizona thread. #1:

The traffic enforcement officer on our local police department drives a white vehicle with subdued markings on it. It does not have a light bar on the roof, but red and blue lights are mounted in the grill and the center top of the windshield. The CHP uses all white sedans of a model that differs from the rest of the fleet. It doesn't bother me in the least and I also like the idea. People that violate traffic laws need to be caught, especially those who speed, make unsafe lane changes and fail to stop for pedestrians. This type of driving endangers others on the road at the same time.. Many drivers ignore the posted chain requirements and slide and spin into those who have the proper tires and chains installed.

The cars the chief of police and the one lieutenant drive are unmarked. I've ridden with both of them and sometimes they have to pull someone over due to the danger the driver is immediately causing. They usually call a marked unit to make the stop, but if the danger has to be stopped they have to take immediate action. I don't have a problem with this either.

The markings on the side of the vehicle are not hidden as they are quite easily noticed when viewed. They just are not as noticeable as the regular markings. People violating the law often don't look around them much and that lack of focus can be factor in poor driving.

I live in an area where a heavily trafficked U.S. Highway is the main street of 9 different towns. If any traffic enforcement of the needed speed limit in those towns the drivers that notice this and those who are ticketed call them "speed traps" and "just done to collect revenue." They call these towns "hick towns" and other urban condescending names. These are great places to live and trying to cross main street is often scary. There isn't enough speed enforcement, in my opinion, having lived/spent time in small towns where people will drive 55-70 in 25 and 35 mph zones. Try crossing the street in a marked sidewalk when vehicles are traveling that speed, especially when you have a couple of 3-7 year old kids in tow.

I don't need to worry about the markings, or lack thereof, on a police car. I drive the speed limit and obey the law. Doing so removes much of the stress of driving.

"Speed trap" is a term used by those who speed and don't want to be bothered to slow down in towns. It is similar to "activist judge," which really stands for a judge who makes a decision you don't like.
I agree. If drivers did not get worse like they are now we wouldn't really need "ghost cars". I like the idea and it's good. Only ones who complain mostly are ones who fell victim to a self induced "speed trap" one time or another.
 
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