LEXINGTON, N.C. -- The director of Davidson County's emergency communication 911 dispatch said his dispatchers helped in a successful call Monday when deputies arrested a man for impersonating a police officer on I-85.
Foy Ray McNeil, 45, is in the Davidson County Jail charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and assault by pointing a weapon.
But it was McNeil who called 911 to say he was an undercover officer.
"I'm an off duty Randolph County vice/narcotics officer. Give me a deputy," McNeil told the dispatcher. "I'm coming into your county on interstate 85 South...I'm in an unmarked car, and I don't want to stop him without a deputy with me."
When Laron Glenn, the man deputies say McNeil was trying to pull over, called 911 a few minutes later, a dispatcher confirmed McNeil was an undercover officer.
"There's a gentleman out here on I-85 and he's waving a gun. He pulled out a handgun," Glenn told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher responded, "That's an undercover officer."
Director Terry Bailey said McNeil sounded like a deputy and would have fooled even veteran dispatchers.
"He's identified himself as an undercover officer. He's identified which county. So we have no reason to second guess. We have to take him at face value," Bailey said.
Bailey said the intent of dispatchers when dealing with both Glenn and McNeil was to get an uniformed officer in a marked car to the scene to sort everything out.
That's exactly what happened, and deputies arrested McNeil after a quick investigation.
"I would call that successful," Bailey said.
Several law enforcement agencies including the Greensboro Police Department said it's perfectly acceptable to stay on the road until you feel safe pulling over.
"Turn on your four-way flashers. Maybe slow down a little bit to acknowledge you've seen the officer. Wait to pull over until you get to a well-lit area with witnesses," said Greensboro Officer Douglas Campbell said.
Campbell said even undercover officers carry a badge and a photo ID. He said you should ask for both before rolling down your window or stepping out of your vehicle.
"Any officer should be happy to show you that identification," Officer Campbell said.