Fake Cops and Film Sets

Fake Cops at Film Shoots

I just overheard a conversation which got me thinking – There’s a ton of filming going on outside of my office this morning and with it the usual “security” posted on all the surrounding corners. Two onlookers I walked past on my way in were arguing if the security guards were actual police officers or perhaps off duty police officers or just normal guards dressed up to look like police officers. Their uniforms and motorcycles are as close to looking like LAPD issue as they can be without actually containing anything saying they are law enforcement. So the question is, if these guys are not cops isn’t this pretty much impersonating a police officer? And if they are cops, why are they going so far out of their way to look like cops but without actually saying it? I’ve got some suspicions of my own but wanted to pose this to everyone else before I opened my mouth and said something completely wrong.

9 Replies to “Fake Cops and Film Sets”

  1. I was driving past 1100 Wilshire this morning, and I saw these fake cops too. At first I thought private security firms were really going fancy on us, but then the camera crews gave it away.

  2. From what I understand, anyone can own a surplus Kawasaki KZ-1000 police special (or other cop bike), so long as you remove the siren and swap out the flashers for plain amber.

    Every now and then, you’ll see an older guy cruising on one of these things on the freeway almost completely tricked out – shorty helmet, khaki shirt, black gloves, side-striped beige jodphurs and black boots – the works – but with amber lenses on the fairing and tail flashers.

    Either a retired cop or a guy with a hardcore case of wannabe. And yeah, there are some pretty serious laws about impersonating an officer.

  3. I have run into this problem in the past. My dipstick neighbor runs around with wannabe cop cars, bomb sniffing dogs, LIGHTS on his converted granny Crown Vics (he did that conversion on the front lawn) and when I asked the cops about it I was totally flabberghasted. The can dress in uniforms, drive fake wannabe cop cars with “official looking” logos, even have lights if they don’t use them mounted on their car as private security is very loosely regulated and not enforced until they actually actively policing (whatever the hell that is).
    A friend of mine is retired LAPD. He does the private security thingy and has his “retired” badge, still carries a gun and its all legal.
    Absent being an on duty officer their powers are limited if they stop and detain you, you have a false imprisonment claim…but who wants to deal with that shit either.

  4. Certain filming activities in the City of Lso Angeles require police officers to be employed by the production for public safety (lane closures, street closures, intermittent traffic control, insert cars or process trailers operating on City streets — for example).

    These are generally retired traffic officers (motorcycle cops). Some are active duty police officers. Both must get internal permits from LAPD to do such work.

    Additionally, you will occasionally see motorcycle security guards who do funeral escorts and such who very much like police officers but lack the authority of a sworn law enforcement officer.

  5. Certain filming activities in the City of Lso Angeles require police officers to be employed by the production for public safety (lane closures, street closures, intermittent traffic control, insert cars or process trailers operating on City streets — for example).

    These are generally retired traffic officers (motorcycle cops). Some are active duty police officers. Both must get internal permits from LAPD to do such work.

    Additionally, you will occasionally see motorcycle security guards who do funeral escorts and such who very much like police officers but lack the authority of a sworn law enforcement officer.

  6. Certain filming activities in the City of Lso Angeles require police officers to be employed by the production for public safety (lane closures, street closures, intermittent traffic control, insert cars or process trailers operating on City streets — for example).

    These are generally retired traffic officers (motorcycle cops). Some are active duty police officers. Both must get internal permits from LAPD to do such work.

    Additionally, you will occasionally see motorcycle security guards who do funeral escorts and such who very much like police officers but lack the authority of a sworn law enforcement officer.

  7. Yep. Fake “cops.”

    Lots of fully pensioned retiree trough-lickers seem to be buying similarly early “retired” LAPD bikes.

    Then they hire on (thru the in-house system)to be certified city “security” at city-sanctioned film shoots.

    When will somebody perform a citizen’s arrest of the impersonating-a-cop actor who blocks a public sidewalk or street?

    After all, that’s ALL they could do to YOU if you didn’t obey their director-relayed-walkie talkie orders.

    They are fake. They have citizens’ arrest powers only. We have the same power.

    Tell grandpa — or the young hotshot who snagged an early full-salary disability retirement from our generaous system — that you’re continuing on your legal, lawful way.

    And if you’re visible in the resultiing commercial/video/made-for-tv flick/feature film, demand payment.

  8. just completed a 2037 mile road trip on a 1989 KZ1000P was a great ride the old scooter did a great job. After all think about it they were designed for cops to use. Good dependable machines. Looked at 2 different machines when bought this one. this one being the first to look at the second was a rideable basket case. and ya I’m one of the older guys riding around on one. as for the wannabe syndrome not for me.

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