Crime

NYC Cops Caught Using Illegal License Plate Covers

| by Michael Howard

More than 100 New York City police officers are reportedly concealing their license plates using plastic covers.

The covers are illegal and can be bought online for less than $10, according to the New York Post. Their purpose is to hide the license plate numbers when viewed from a certain angle, so as to fool the cameras at toll booths and traffic signals.

According to a new Inside Edition investigation, the NYPD reportedly acknowledges the problem and says it is taking steps to rectify it.

"This is an issue the Department has been aware of and is working to address," NYPD spokesperson Peter Donald said. "The department has instructed precinct commanders to ensure officers in their commands are complying with traffic laws and internal guidelines on license-plate covers."

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"Just this week, there were several spot inspections in lower Manhattan to ensure personal vehicles of police officers are following traffic laws," he added.

Around a dozen cops were reportedly ticketed in February. Offenders are subject to command discipline -- for instance losing vacation days -- in addition to having to pay fines.

Lisa Guerrero, Inside Edition's chief investigative correspondent, says she saw over 100 police cars with the illegal covers.

At one point, Guerrero waited near one of the cars and confronted the officer when he returned.

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"Is this your car?" she asked, according to Inside Edition.

"Yes," the cop said.

"Can you tell me why you have illegal cover on your license plate?" she asked.

The officer then said he would remove the covers. He reportedly did so in front of the camera after Guerrero handed him a screwdriver.

Another officer whith whom Guerrero spoke insisted that the covers don't exempt him from paying tolls. He refused to answer, however, when she asked him whether they are illegal, the New York Post reports.

Guerrero received similar treatment from a federal officer driving an SUV, who slammed his door shut when asked why he was obscuring his plates.

Inside Edition's story will air Feb. 9.

Sources: New York Post, Inside Edition / Photo credit: Cezary Piwowarski/Wikimedia Commons

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