Vehicle Decal (wording)

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Safety1st
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Vehicle Decal (wording)

by: Safety1st on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:53 am

Hey guys & gals!

This is my first post with ontariohighwaytrafficact.com!

I am part of an non-profit organization which has many functions but mainly deals with crime prevention/crime watch. I wanted to get some advice before I decided to do anything because I want to avoid any possible tickets and/or negative interactions with law enforcement.

Since it is all volunteer we use our own personal vehicles to go to and from volunteer events, and some of us use our personal vehicles to drive around now and then, basically be the eyes and ears of law enforcement, and report anything we see.

So to get to my question,

Would it be illegal to put wording on my personal vehicle to the effect of "Emergency Response" or just " Response Unit".

I am fully aware that being part of an organization like such does not give me any authority to break any HTA laws and regulations, and this would solely be for visual purposes, just to identify my vehicle. I would also be pairing those words with the organization name, phone number etc.

If anyone has an idea on this, could you please include specific Reg numbers or offences. I do not need personal opinions, as I have already got both positive and negative thoughts against putting markings on my personal vehicle, although I am a full time member with this organization and I take what we do seriously as we have a significant impact on crime in the areas that we target.

Furthermore, if it is deemed unfit to put those wordings on personal vehicles, does anyone have any neat suggestions on what I can place on there to replace that?

Thank you everyone!

Adam.
Security Professional, Volunteer & Aspiring Police Officer.

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it.


argyll
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by: argyll on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:47 am

How about Community Patrol instead of using Response as presumably you aren't responding as opposed to patrolling.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


Safety1st
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by: Safety1st on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:08 am

Hm, you have actually spiked my interest with that. I'll definitely consider it!
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Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:22 am

There's nothing to my knowledge that would prohibit such signage under the Highway Traffic Act. The main legal requirement you'd have to be careful of is personating a police officer under the Criminal Code, which makes it illegal to use a uniform, badge or other equipment in a manner that could make someone believe you're the police.

I'd also suggest going with Argyll's wording. Any of the officially police affiliated groups that I'm aware of refer to themselves as patrol groups, since they're simply asked to report and not intervene.

Might I also suggest some type of magnetic signage you can remove when not in use? If it's your personal vehicle you're just asking for someone to cause mischief to it when it's parked in a mall lot, etc.


Safety1st
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by: Safety1st on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:31 am

Thanks for your feedback, Stanton.

I did think about the magnetic sign at one point but opted against it since I volunteer with the organization very often (consider it like a full time job) and when I'm not volunteering I'm at work, where my vehicle would be parked in a secure location. (At home it is also in a detached garage) so mischief has not been too big of a concern for me.

Although I do appreciate the feedback, I might still go for that, as I still haven't decided what I will be doing at this time.
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by: bobajob on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:45 am

unless you are representing yourself to be or appear to be

1> a police officer
2> a police car

case in point, anyone seen the white dodge chargers, which look damn well like police cars but are in fact either security or ticket fighter companies
x-copper being one I've seen which has given me a few heart attack moments

so I wouldn't worry about a car with rapid response or such, as it's not illegal, your not using the word Police
also think of the Blues Brothers police car, less the wording police :)

think you can't put on certain stripes but names and wording of your organization is NOT against the law, unless of course your organization happens to be called
Region of Peel Police department ;)


BTW
or possible fire/paramedic but not sure if that's illegal, i guess it might be.
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by: Stanton on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:27 pm

The offence of personation does not require one to actually identify oneself as a police officer or to have police written on the vehicle. The section simply requires that the factors/equipment would “likely to cause persons to believe”. People have been charged for driving around in old Crown Vics with lights bars in the windows while wearing blue uniforms. I’m not making assumptions about how the OP engages himself, but if he’s patrolling high crime areas and in any way interacting with persons, I’d strongly suggest he takes all precautions to avoid any misidentification; especially if he’s aspiring to be a police officer.


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by: bobajob on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:39 pm

then I'm assuming that the x-copper cars and some security company cars which look for all the world to be police vehicles
are break the law and can be done for impersonating. ?

Because I still see said cars driving around past 4-5 years
Stanton wrote:The offence of personation does not require one to actually identify oneself as a police officer or to have police written on the vehicle. The section simply requires that the factors/equipment would “likely to cause persons to believe”. People have been charged for driving around in old Crown Vics with lights bars in the windows while wearing blue uniforms. I’m not making assumptions about how the OP engages himself, but if he’s patrolling high crime areas and in any way interacting with persons, I’d strongly suggest he takes all precautions to avoid any misidentification; especially if he’s aspiring to be a police officer.
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* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:48 pm

a question to the OP

have you actually gone into a police station, or asked for a meeting with police to
1> your activities
2> how you should conduct them
3> decal's logos clothing

I personally think this is an IMPORTANT step, not saying OP hasn't but doesn't say he has,
because I suspect the Police would have given a pretty clear and concise answer.

I'm also in 2 minds about these things, there is one thing being a neighborhood watch, that's all good.
Patrol your neighborhood, torch in civvies.

but when you start driving around possibly wearing a uniform in a logo'd car that;s a whole nother story
and I'm not sure one that Police are keen on.

If I'm on the street in trouble, I want a real cop, if that's what I need, I don't want a jumped up security guard
or a part time warrior. A trained police officer who knows the law, has a gun (if need be) and can have backup there in 30 seconds.

And the problem is, when you have people patrolling the streets, are they trained, do they have the right temperament,
are they after cracking skulls, are they trained in some kind of 1st aid, in the heat of the moment, you can be mistaken for an LEO
and then your in a world of trouble.

In hindsight, I'll take back my previous comment; I think totally legal to be decalled
BUT do you want to be.

and if somone is injured watch out lawsuit baby !
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* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


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bobajob
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by: bobajob on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:00 pm

Way back in the day (in the UK) when I was in security,
we where told point blank in training, if at all possible

1> never leave site in the car (walk to the shops if possible)
2> remove cap and epulletes <sp?>

for our own personal safety, not to be identified as cops, not that we are breaking the law,
BUT for personal safety
Stanton wrote: but if he’s patrolling high crime areas and in any way interacting with persons, I’d strongly suggest he takes all precautions to avoid any misidentification; especially if he’s aspiring to be a police officer.
--------------------------------------------------------------
* NO you cant touch your phone
* Speeding is speeding
* Challenge every ticket
* Impaired driving, you should be locked up UNDER the jail


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:59 pm

bobajob wrote:then I'm assuming that the x-copper cars and some security company cars which look for all the world to be police vehicles
are break the law and can be done for impersonating. ?
Sorry, I should have clarified that you'd also have to show some type of action or intent to further cause people to believe you're the police. Driving around probably wouldn't be a problem, but should you engage in some type of "patrol" and interact with persons, you might start crossing the line.


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