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Middleton police say off-duty officer was involved in traffic stop

The Middleton Police Department announced that it was a sworn-in officer in an unmarked law enforcement vehicle who was involved in a "weird" traffic stop.
Middleton Police vehicle

MIDDLETON, Idaho — Update [4:08 p.m.]: The Middleton Police Department announced that it was a sworn-in officer in an unmarked law enforcement vehicle who was involved in a "weird" traffic stop. Police say the officer was wearing a shirt with an agency badge on it.

The original story follows:

The Middleton Police Department is warning residents that a white, unmarked Jeep was involved in a report of false traffic stops along Highway 44.

According to police, a citizen reported that a new, white Jeep Grand Cherokee followed them closely on Highway 44, between Star and Middleton. The citizen said the Jeep had a PA system that said, "Get off the phone." Moments later, what appeared to be cheap blue, red and white LED lights lit up on the right top corner of the Jeep's front windshield. 

While the citizen told police that it was weird, they still pulled over. 

A man described in his 30s, with khaki pants, a black shirt and a khaki jacket stepped out of the Jeep and asked the driver why they were going slower than the speed limit and told them that they weren't allowed to be on the phone due to Idaho's hands-free laws. 

The citizen also told police that the man did not have any official police badges or identification and did not appear to have a gun.

The man was described to be in his mid to late 30s, short dark brown hair, brown eyes, medium build, about six feet tall and has stubble on his lip.

Canyon County law enforcement agencies did not report any traffic stops near the area or around the time of the incident.

Middleton police said most police agencies in the Treasure Valley do not have Jeep vehicles as patrol cars.

"If you ever feel unsure about if a vehicle is a police vehicle or not and they are trying to pull you over, please call 911 and dispatch can verify.  If they can not verify, stay on the line, continue to provide details, and a real officer will be on their way," Middleton police said in a Facebook post.

The citizen told police that the Jeep appeared to a newer model that is publicly available for purchase.