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Thibodaux Chief: This truck is not law enforcement - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Thibodaux Chief: This truck is not law enforcement

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Courtesy Thibodaux Police Courtesy Thibodaux Police
Courtesy Thibodaux Police Courtesy Thibodaux Police
Courtesy Thibodaux Police Courtesy Thibodaux Police

Thibodaux Chief of Police Bryan Zeringue issued a press release, complete with pictures, about a vehicle in the area that some could mistake for law enforcement.

 Thibodaux Police Shift “A” Officers along with members of our Problem Oriented Policing Unit spotted the vehicle in the Thibodaux area on Wednesday, the chief said.

The vehicle had been altered from a stock Tahoe to resemble a police vehicle, including a Louisiana State Police hat on the front dashboard. The vehicle was stopped and contact was made with the driver, who was not a law enforcement officer.

Police learned that the driver, who lives in Houma, recently joined the Marine Corps and has future aspirations to join law enforcement. Despite the look of the vehicle, the driver claimed he was not trying to impersonate a police officer.

Officers shared Louisiana Revised Statute 14:112.1A(4) which states it is unlawful to equip any motor vehicle with lights or sirens which simulate a law enforcement vehicle. The driver told officers that he would be changing the configuration of the vehicle. The driver was allowed to leave with a warning.

"We wanted to inform our partners so they can be aware in the event they are stopped and unusual requests are made of them. When questionable, it is reasonable to request a supervisor come to the scene to confirm you are dealing with an actual Police Officer," the release states.  "This is not an excuse to not cooperate with a legal traffic stop when it is reasonable to believe the one conducting the traffic stop is a Police Officer. Remember, if someone decides not to cooperate and the reason why is not reasonable – they could face charges."

“This is the type of thing that causes fear and makes people leery of stopping for Police,” said Chief Zeringue. “I’m glad our Officers spotted the vehicle and explained the importance of making the proper changes. We appreciate the driver’s full cooperation.”

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