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Madison Police Offers Advice After Teen Arrested for Impersonating an Officer, Addresses Recent Social Media Complaints

MADISON – The Madison Police Department issued a statement Thursday morning addressing the recent arrest of a Harvest teen in Limestone County using equipment and posing as a police officer. They also took issue with some of the recent social media conversations questioning police tactics the department uses to enforce traffic laws.

Logan William Martin, 18, of Harvest, was arrested on Friday after applying for a job as a corrections officer.

“Capt. Tammy Waddell received a tip that Martin had stolen blue lights from the Madison County Career Tech Law Enforcement vehicle, put them in his car, and was stopping cars and impersonating a peace officer,” the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said.

When interviewed, Martin confessed to impersonating a peace officer in Limestone County, Madison County, Jackson County, and Lincoln County, Tennessee, the Sheriff’s Office said. A search of his car revealed property of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Huntsville Police Department, including dash cameras, blue emergency lights and a police radio, according to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the statement from Madison Police, the arrest has brought up questions regarding the use of unmarked patrol cars in traffic enforcement. “MPD uses unmarked vehicles as part of the Traffic Safety Unit for enforcement actions,” Madison Police stated. “These vehicles have no outer markings and display State issued tags.

Several social media comments were made saying the use of unmarked vehicles in traffic enforcement is entrapment. “The definition of entrapment includes ‘A law enforcement officer inducing a person to commit a crime they otherwise would have been unlikely or unwilling to commit’,” the MPD statement said. “MPD traffic officers conduct vehicle stops only after they observe traffic violations have already occurred. Comments made concerning the occurrence of more traffic stops at the ‘end of the month to make quota’ have no validity, as MPD has never required or used quotas.”

Madison Police gave some advice for people being stopped by an unmarked police vehicle. “If a citizen feels they are unsafe when an unmarked vehicle displays blue lights to pull them over, the citizen should turn on their hazard flashers which will let the officer know they are attempting to pull over,” MPD stated. “They should pull into the nearest well-lit, public location, and call 911 providing the dispatcher with their location and vehicle description. Remain on the phone with dispatch until they advise the officer is authorized to conduct the traffic stop.”

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