The other day I realized (at least in Oregon) there’s a verified checkmark in real life that’s important, and it’s the one you find on exempt license plates on government vehicles. There’s no way for a civilian to get one, so they’re only found on official cars and trucks. Most often they start with a E or a E with a circle around it. Once you know about this, you see them everywhere (especially near your state’s capital).
But last year in Oregon, the state passed a law saying undercover cops are now allowed to run normal civilian license plates on normal civilian looking cars. Now, I get why undercover cops want this, as in the old days you could always spot an undercover cop because they drove drab colored Crown Victorias that looked like existing cop cars just without the black/white paint. Then some of them got normal cars, but they always had the plate that could gave them away. And yet I always felt it was a necessary, vital thing—even if it hindered their undercover work.
What sucks about it is a scene like this now:
That’s an undercover Oregon cop in a Toyota RAV4 that pulled someone over.
There’s no exempt plate and I would have a tough time pulling over for this car. Would the cop understand it looks like they’re an impersonator? I bet you can get red LED light and blue LED light combos on Amazon for $20 to complete the look. Anyone can get a cop uniform and real-enough looking badge.
Would I get slapped with evading arrest if I refused to pull over and instead wanted to drive to the nearest police station just to make sure?
There’s a long history of people dressing up as cops and abusing others by taking advantage of them. In Oregon, exempt plates are impossible to get unless it’s on an official vehicle and now I don’t feel any safer knowing there are undercover cops randomly pulling people over in regular cars now and I need to simply trust they’re all the real deal.