Tyler Officer Violated Department's Policy

A violation of policy.

Last Friday, an off-duty Tyler officer pulled over a woman in his unmarked vehicle. Police say the officer noticed her speeding through the Andy Woods Elementary school zone. He then followed her for several miles until she stopped at a residence. The officer was in uniform and approached the woman, asking to see her driver's license. He issued her a warning and left. Tuesday, top Tyler Police officials say the officer's actions were against the department's policy.

Now, an investigation is underway to determine if the officer will face disciplinary action. So, what is the department's policy? Police told KLTV 7 an officer in an unmarked vehicle is only to make a traffic stop in an extreme situation, such as a DWI.

If you are followed by an unmarked car, without lights and sirens, police want you to protect yourself, first.

"Say in this example where an unmarked car actually stops you," said Assistant Police Chief Paula Riggle. "You're not required to stop for someone like that unless it has the clear markings on it."

Officer Riggle says if you do stop, make sure you pull in to a busy area like a convenience store or parking lot. Ask to see the officers badge and identification. If you are still not convinced it is an officer, you can call the police department to confirm the person is an officer.

Again, police tell us they're looking after your safety first. You will not get in trouble if an unmarked officer's vehicle is following you, and you wait to pull over.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com