The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 2, 2014, 07:58 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,442
Open Up, It's the Police - or is it?

There was a recent report from near Atlanta, Ga. of an attempted late night break in by fake police.

It's not an isolated incident, there have been others around the country.
What would you do if there was a knock on the door and someone on the other side said, "Open Up, It's the Police!"
Would you open up?
Do you have a way to see who is out there?
This lady did start to open the door, saw it was ruse and shot one of the armed, would-be intruders.
Big surprises all around.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 08:00 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: April 30, 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,947
It's probably not an uncommon tactic, but as the home invaders in that case learned, it has its dangers.
skoro is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 08:39 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 5,067
Good for her, glad she is OK.

Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 09:52 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Location: The Woods
Posts: 1,197
One of the benefits of living in a rural area is that I recognize the deputies.
But having a peep-hole or a camera and asking to see ID and a warrant seems like a pretty reasonable response.
Since I'm not a criminal, and value my fourth amendment rights as much as I value my second, my hackles would be raised no matter who was knocking on my door.

I'm glad everything turned out okay, but - clearly - opening the door was a mistake.
Peepholes are cheap.
si vis pacem para bellum
dayman is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 10:36 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: March 29, 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 117
Since unless I call there is NO reason for the police to be here it wouldn't work & yes I have a way to know.
"Blessed be the Lord my strength,which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight".
Psalm 144:1 KJV Be safe: Paul
besafe2 is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 10:37 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2007
Posts: 245
If there is any doubt, Call 911.

Barricade to create time.

Presence of police vehicles is a decent clue

If its a no knock warrant... prayer is indicated.
.22lr is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 12:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,067
No knock warrants have gone to he wrong home in the past. When the door came down and homeowners defended themselves it has been lethal for both LE officers and homeowners in the past.

Tough call on that.

In this situation, the door ain't being opened until I see ID.
jmr40 is online now  
Old June 2, 2014, 02:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 28, 2014
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 140
The problem with ID is you're proximity to the holder: i.e. if you are close enough to verify a badge and warrant (because if it really is the police knocking at 0'dark:30, they either have one or come back during business hours), you are close enough to be easily attacked.

Best suggestion I can think of is pretty much what .22lr said: check for a squad car outside, and if you have any questions, advise the person at the door you are calling 911 to verify and then do exactly that.

Until you are confident it really is LE at the door, stay back away from and out of a direct line of fire through the door.
"The true measure of a hero is when a man lays down his life with the knowledge that those he saves . . . will never know." - The Outer Limits: The Voyage Home

"Without logic, reason is useless. With it, you can win arguments and alienate multitudes." - Unknown
Sabrewolfe is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 05:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 4,063
+1 for 911 if there is any doubt

Absolutely if "they" are knocking but it's questionable if it's really the police, call 911.

The dispatcher can coordinate a peaceful resolution if they are legit cops or will send (many) real officers if they are not.
!أنا لست إرهابياً
TXAZ is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 07:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: March 7, 2014
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 543
Lots of cases where folks being robbed or worse after being pulled over by fake Police . That is a tuff call after dark .
psalm7 is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 07:45 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 3,285
Presence of police vehicles is a decent clue
Partly true... but not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes police utilize unmarked cars or park around the corner. Most people will likely *KNOW* if "police" knocking on the door with a search warrant is not legit. Like has been said, if they knocked on my door I wouldn't be too willing to open up. I do know that the wrong house has been hit before...

Calling 911 immediately is a good idea. LEOs serving a search warrant will have to check out at the address they're serving it at. The dispatcher will know if there is legit LEO presence there, and if your "police" are not legit then they can notify you of such and seen the real ones on the way. If I were normal, law-abiding, Joe schmuck Dudley Do-Right that knows the cops shouldn't be serving a warrant on me because I haven't done anything, I would likely grab a gun, a phone, and hole up in the closet furthest from the door. Hopefully the 911 dispatcher can tell me if the police are legit or not before they reach my position. If they are? Put the gun down and everything will be sorted out (you'll probably get a modest settlement for the wrong house being hit). If they aren't? Stay on the phone and ask the dispatcher to let you know when the cops get there. If anyone reaches you before then... well, you know what to do.

EDIT: Forgot to add that this was REALLY common in the Chicago/Minnesota and surrounding areas a while back... probably like 10 years ago they had a ring of guys doing this that had hit quite a few houses. It's worth thinking about if you hear "Police, Search Warrant," but you know there is absolutely NO reason why the police should have a warrant for your house. Mistakes do happen, but not that often.

Last edited by 5whiskey; June 2, 2014 at 09:03 PM.
5whiskey is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 08:18 PM   #12
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 20,731
Happened once to me. I looked for the marked unit and then looked through the peephole before I opened the door. They evacuated my neighborhood because of a hillslide. A patrol car stayed at the foot of the hill and kept the looters out. Thank you nice po-po.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 10:19 PM   #13
Junior member
Join Date: October 19, 2004
Location: michigan
Posts: 578
got volunteer firemen and first responders in my area. they got the same brand of car that the local police use. and they like DARK colors.

after evening hours, you CANNOT tell if its harry the volunteer fireman behind you or if its officer bob.
Bezoar is offline  
Old June 2, 2014, 10:48 PM   #14
Junior member
Join Date: June 30, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 356
She's lucky they weren't wearing fake uniforms and sporting fake ID.
Mike1234 is offline  
Old June 3, 2014, 10:25 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
Posts: 2,385
One time, my buddy and I were sitting in a summer college town apartment, drinking beer (legally) and catching up when the phone rang.
Remember land lines..?
I said hello; they said it was the local PD and that I needed to open up for some officers at the front door.
Having never had anything like this happen before, I assumed it was a prank and I was going to get pelted with water balloons by other friends when I opened. So I asked the officer his name and rank. He said, officer X, sergeant." I said "what's your badge number, officer x?" He told me immediately, (who memorizes that info?) so I figured it might possibly be legit, if weird. The officer didn't mind my asking him questions to identify him.
So, I looked through the peep, then opened the door, and no one was there. I told officer X his officers were at the wrong house and hung up.
So I sat back down and started drinking and chatting, and a few minutes later, a bunch of police officers started tromping through the back yard. Then there was a knock on the door. This time there was a troop on the stoop. I opened up and they said that there had been a 911 call with screaming in the background from my address. I told him that we were the only ones here. They searched the house briefly, then left.
Could I have made them get a warrant, blah blah blah? Maybe, but the greater good was that they scratch this location off their list and get to solving some DV issue.
Later, after a career in telecom, I found out that there were many ways that 911/address correlations could be mixed up. Nowadays, they could be messed up for completely different reasons.
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
doofus47 is offline  
Old June 3, 2014, 10:59 AM   #16
Onward Allusion
Senior Member
Join Date: November 17, 2009
Location: Back in a Non-Free State
Posts: 2,943
Like a couple have already 911 to confirm. If they are knocking, then real cops will wait. Make sure you yell out that you are calling 911 to verify. If they are bad guys they will either scatter or will try to kick in the door immediately.

The more serious bad scenario are the no-knock warrants. What the hell do you do if people (cops?) kick in your door? I personally would probably end up dead if they were real cops because I carry at home and would be firing back.

Like I'd told a resident at our HOA meeting last night - get a couple of video surveillance cameras. They cost less than $100 a piece these day and are well worth it.
Simple as ABC . . . Always Be Carrying
Onward Allusion is offline  
Old June 3, 2014, 06:11 PM   #17
Bob Wright
Senior Member
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 2,886
A similar incident happened to a friend of mine several years ago. He was awakened around 2:00 am by the "Open up. It's the police!" He went to the front door as they called again.

He loudly racked his 12 ga. and responded "Let me see some I.D.!"

Four I.D. cards were promptly pressed against his front window.

He opened up then, only to find the warrant was the same address only a block over.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old June 3, 2014, 06:14 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,931
There was one case I remember reading abuot where a citizen fired back at police raiding his home by mistake, killing one officer, and if I remember correctly, the was exonerated in court. You'd want to move immediately, of course, possibly change your name - it's highly probably that attitude of local LE would not be "serve and protect" towards you, no matter how legit you were.
They want to bang on my door, I'll call 911, and verify. I've seen police badges and IDs for sale at swap meets.
armoredman is offline  
Old June 3, 2014, 06:25 PM   #19
DT Guy
Senior Member
Join Date: February 4, 2001
Posts: 846
Ummm...why are we opening up even if it IS the police? Do they have a warrant?

Just 'wanting' to come into my house is not going to suffice, and not because I'm a prick; I'm an American, and believe I do a disservice to my forebears when I ignore my rights.

He who fights and runs away had better run pretty damn fast.

Government, Anarchy and Chaos
DT Guy is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 12:56 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: March 13, 2014
Location: Tonica, IL
Posts: 473
Living in a very small town, we only have 3 police officers and my wife and I are at least familiar with all of them. I also work as a Juvenile Detention Officer for the county, so I know quite a few of the deputies as well. With all that, chances are I'd recognize most of the peace officers that might come to our door.

If I didn't I would definitely be armed as I went to the door and would remain so until I verified who it was.
BigBL87 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 05:10 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,360
Checking the peephole or through a window is a must before opening your door. You are not required to open your door unless you know them or they have a warrant.

I never just open the door to a stranger no matter who it is. I check through my window first to see who it really is. If its a stranger who is being insistant and suspicious, I may open it with a firearm...
Justice06RR is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 11:44 AM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: January 30, 2013
Posts: 1,037
This is why I WILL NOT pull over for unmarked cars with lights. Too many stories like this, besides, there's no reason for an unmarked car to pull me over. In fact, I am against unmarked police cars in general. Police should not be operating like that IMO. I will keep driving and call 911 asking for a marked police car, if they want me to comply.

I wouldn't open the door for the police late at night. There shouldn't be any reason to be there, and if they really needed me, I'd be happy to come down to the station, if they give me a call in the morning.
JD0x0 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 11:56 AM   #23
Junior member
Join Date: June 30, 2010
Location: Alamo City
Posts: 356
^^^ How can you tell if a police car is unmarked if they pull you over at night and all you can see is headlights and blue/red flashing lights in your rear-view mirror?

Anyway, this thread is about attempted home invasions. I ask again... What if the potential intruders are wearing fake uniforms and sporting fake ID? I'd politely ask them to wait while I call 911 for verification.
Mike1234 is offline  
Old June 4, 2014, 08:10 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 3,963
Most jurisdictions don't let unmarked cars make traffic stops, even our highway patrol cars have lighted license plates and uniformed officers inside. Too easy for predators to buy a blue gumball and troll the roads at night.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old June 5, 2014, 08:10 AM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 10,442
This morning there was this account of a police impersonator stopping a car - one being driven by an actual cop, though.
That didn't turn out well for the fake one.
But they're out there.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
g.willikers is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10028 seconds with 8 queries