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Do police officers have to tell you that they are a police officer when you ask them?
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Do police officers have to tell you that they are a police officer when you ask them?

I have always heard that police officers have to come up front about being a police officer when asked. Is that true or is that a myth that i have always heard?


It's a myth.
Imagine an undercover vice officer having to "blow" his cover whenever he's asked. That would make it pretty easy for the bad guys.......unless you live in Shangri la like the next responder.


No they do not. For example if they are working undercover they certainly would not.

unless they are undercover and in the middle of a bust or something like that then yes they do have to tell you especially if they are trying to arrest you or violate your rights


Mr. Wizard
Legit plain clothes police officers, by professional legal standards, routinely identify themselves as such when they approach you for questioning or other police business. You can ask to see some photo identification of who they are.

that's a myth. They can also lie about evidence they supposedly collected from a crime scene.

Not true at all. They only need to identify themselves in the performance of their duties..

Michael R
If they are going to arrest you then yes they have to announce their authority, but if they are undercover they do not have to tell you. Officers that go deep undercover can't tell everybody who asks them if they are cops because they would not last very long.

Ash Anne
In the state of Arkansas, yes, they have to tell you UNLESS they're undercover.

In most cases the real question has to do with the admissibility of any evidence gained from their deception. It would all be admissible. Now there is another side of the issue. If an undercover officer is assaulted the person can not be charged with assaulting a police officer because they did not know that the person was a police officer. In other word the officer will lose any special privilege of benefit if he is not identifiable as a police officer.

I would assume you are talking about an undercover peace officer. In this case the officer would not say Yes or No they would probably answer your question with another question. In certain situations I would assume that they could legally lie to you to protect themselves or others from harm, like a drug sting, etc.

No. Why would you ask someone that you don't know that's a cop if he is a cop? They ask more questions than they answer. Stop being so parinoid, they are not out to get you. Maybe.

No----if they are in a sting----they do not

If they are in uniform --it is self-explanatory

If they are behind you with lights and sirens on---they dont have
to YELL anything out their windows, but you really should stop
your car anyways, at the NEAREST PLACE, and not where you
think it is best....(hate that answer)

IF you are a female and the car is unmarked and you are not sure, use your cell phone--call 911 and tell dispatch you are not going to stop, and they will tell you if there is an unmarked vehicle in the vicinity and if it is safe to stop---if it is not--then go to the nearest lighted exit and SCREAM LIKE A BANSHEE! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP! Otherwise--stop and ask for ID.

hmm--did I cover it all.....??? I think so..also I think we can all tell
who the cops are....they all seem to have uniforms and have short hair and drive with red and blues over their cars (impalas and crown vics)

PS--if they are in a sting and you are in a position to BE IN A STING----you should REALLY be worried about WHY you are asking this question.......so ignore all this stuff inbetween....

George K
No they don't have to tell you.

helo pilot cfi
if you are questioned and not a participant of a sting operation they have to identify themselves with credentails or its entrapment

No they do not. Deception is a great way to make good arrests... nothing is more satisfying then knocking on a door and telling the person on the other side you are the pizza delivery guy or the gas shut off guy and then serving a warrant. It's also very satisfying to be in plain clothes and making a drug sale/buy and then having a swarm of plain clothes officers arrest the person who sold or bought. If someone walks up to you and begins interrogating you and you ask it is in the officers best interest to tell you he's a cop / detective or he might get a left hook or a kick to the shin but deceiving a person until the moment you take them into custody is good police buisness in any state.

Star of Fla
How to tell if someone is a cop cause they DO NOT have to tell you! 1 They try to get to close too fast! 2 They ask way to many questions that no one in their right mind would ask! 3 Something about them is just not right! 4 The person who introduces them to you just got in trouble. 5 The person who introduces them to you is pouring sweat! 6 You never see them with their family.


hell no, how you gonna prove that they didn't? they are not saints.


Don K
No they don't have to tell you anything. They are so scared of the public around here they yell at people and just start shooting. If you get out of your car when you get pulled over for speeding you will see a cop hide behind his car door and pull a gun on you and start yelling.

I have no idea what has gotten in these crazy bas tards in Arkansas but they are going nuts.

One shot out a truck window because the mexican would not get out and he said his gun just went off when he hit the window with it. (yeah right). The cop had no problems over this. then a retarded guy was shot dead because he was walking down the side of the road acting funny (duh) and when he did not understand what was going on when the cop pulled the gun and started yelling at him he shot the poor guy in the head. This cop retired but got away with it..

Nine cops shot a bumb in a local park in Fayetteville arkansas. All emptyed their guns in him. .Never was nothing done over that.. Then a resterant owner was pissed off and 2 cops shot him to death.

I would say do as you are told very quickly or die is the game now days.

so no they don't have to tell you nothing.

Warren D
I would think an undercover officer might be justified in not giving a truthful answer in this situation.

john j
if asked yes cause its some form of intrapment other wise. can not threaten you either

yes they do!!!!!!

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