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MAYORWatch: What are the Laws Surrounding Unmarked Vehicles and Plainclothes Officers?

Mayor Michael Victorino answers weekly questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: Recently I have been seeing various unmarked vehicles utilizing radar guns and pulling cars over with police lights. A video was posted to Facebook of an unmarked vehicle with a car pulled over and a plainclothes man questioning the driver. What are the laws surrounding unmarked vehicles and plainclothes officers? How do we as citizens know this is a legit Maui Police Officer and not a person intending foul play?

Answer: Mahalo for your question. My staff contacted the Maui Police Department and their personnel made a point to immediately respond to this safety concern.

Maui Police officers use various vehicles to conduct lawful police enforcement throughout the county, which includes marked and unmarked cars. All officers are trained to identify themselves during any form of contact with citizens.

Although we haven’t had any issues with people impersonating police officers, we want to assure the public that there are steps you can take to feel safe. If you are unsure about a police officer, you can contact the Maui Police Department or call 911 to verify the identity of the officer.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]

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