TWIN FALLS, Idaho — In a recent Facebook post, the Twin Falls Police Department explained the use behind unmarked police patrol vehicles after receiving questions from residents.
Officer J.P O’Donnell said there are advantages in utilizing unmarked vehicles for patrol, traffic, and criminal interdiction.
“It’s a tool that we can use more specifically for traffic enforcement, more specific for criminal interdiction type of patrols,” O’Donnell said.
For example, vehicle burglaries that may occur in the area.
“We can then put some of these unmarked throughout our neighborhoods, so as they are patrolling they’re not always as immediately distinguished as police vehicles, especially during the night time,” O’Donnell said.
Officer Chris Ehardt said distracted drivers are likely to continue doing things like using their phone, playing with the radio and speeding when drivers don’t notice the unmarked police vehicle. Ehardt said those actions can cause crashes and the vehicles can assist in traffic enforcement.
Twin Falls resident Joshua McEntarfer-Gabert said it’s good to know the vehicles are there.
“I feel like the running of the red lights, the speeding and the going fast in school zones can be more regulated and well taken care of and I feel like overall they put our community in a better position safety wise,” McEntarfer-Gabert said.
However, some residents may question the legitimacy of the vehicles.
“These unmarked vehicles are police vehicles; they still have emergency lights, forward to the rear into the sides, once activated along with emergency sirens they have all the equipment inside of them that any other police vehicle would have,” O’Donnell said.
If a resident is pulled over by one of the unmarked vehicles and feels concerned, O’Donnell said they can call 911 to confirm with an emergency communication officer.