I decided to put this in a separate thread as a FAQ.
- Basically, if you pull into the airport and see cops at Terminal A most likely when you get to the gold mine we call Terminal C there will be cops there too.
The arrival areas or the first level of Terminal C is the most likely area to encounter cops. The departure areas or 2nd and 3rd level C are a lot less likely although Ive seen cops there in the past on occasion. Many experienced Uber passengers know to go to the departure areas to get picked up. Tell your client to go to the departure area to get picked up.
The cops have a year or more experience with Uber. They are very smart, very observant and can spot you a mile away. They do change up their tactics often and adapt to any trick you can come up with. They do change up their schedule. One time I saw them arrive at Terminal C at 7am and the next day it was 6am. Sometimes they are out there with high viz jackets for you to see and other times they hide and jump you. The Newark city police detectives sometimes come down to pull their own operations independent of the PA police. That guy tends to wear an external body armor and looks like a punk driving in a smoked out Lincoln Town Car.
You are safer if you drop off than if you pick up, but they will stop you if you drop in front of them. Just remember if you see the cop they can see you. Absolutely do not pick up or drop off if you can see a cop or the cop car. If you absolutely must drop with a cop in the terminal get way past them and drop and do it quickly.
The cops tend to be out in large force from 12pm to 12am. Ive seen them really lock things down with 5 cops and a cop car at each terminal in the arrivals area checking each and every car that does a pickup. When I got my tickets they didnt ask me or my passengers. They just started writing.
If you are hanging in the terminal and see the cop in the distance coming toward you on foot or in a car leave now. The moment they get within shouting distance you are done. Pull out slowly and obey traffic rules with signals and such. Always be alert in the terminal. Head up, radio off and scanning around you.
To Uber at the airport daily you have to be brave and know how to handle yourself around the police. Ive been stopped a few dozen times in my lifetime and so Im used to the routine. So its not if but when you will get stopped at the airport. Its not if but when you will deal with the police. Make sure all your paperwork is straight and present. Drive like you have a driving instructor in the car. Uber has good lawyers so you do have protection.
- The cops of the Port Authority are probably the biggest assholes around out of all the NJ or NY cops you have encountered. They rarely give breaks or warnings and you can expect a ticket in your hand at the end of any encounter. Some of the older cops who have been on the job a while might give you a nasty speech along with a scowl followed by a warning or a cheap obscure plates ticket. Feel lucky when you get the older cop who gives you that nasty look and demeaning warning. However, you WILL always end up with multiple-tickets in your hand when the PA cop looks like they just got out of college. They have very specific training on how to deal with you. First, license, reg and insurance. Second, questions that you dont have to answer. Tell them you dont want to answer questions. They will try to get you to admit you are Uber. You have every right to stay silent when the questions go beyond the usual routine. "Im sorry but I dont want to answer questions." Of course, hand them your required paperwork and they can figure out who you are. I once tried that routine with a Suffolk County cop when he pulled me over for speeding. I told him I didnt want to answer questions in a nice voice and smile. He went away and came back with my ticket. Are you here for Uber? Sorry I dont want to answer questions. Who are you here to pickup? Sorry I dont want to answer questions. Can I search your vehicle? No. etc...no crime in being at the airport circling around and only crime in standing is $54. Third, tickets in the hand...from theirs to yours. Fourth, do you have any questions. Nope, dont ask questions. Say no and drive away like you are grandma and as if the DMV driving instructor is in the right seat meaning very carefully so they wont decide you need to get stopped a second time.
Now lets say you get the brilliant idea in your mind to answer questions. "Who are you here to pickup?" "My buddy Ralph" "So what is Ralphs flight number? What time does he get in? From where? Whats Ralphs last name...etc" If you answer a question the cop is trained to ask more questions which you cant answer and you end up looking foolish/guilty as you try to respond. Actually that's not true, they will not just ask questions, but pepper you with more questions quickly. Just hand him your license, reg and insurance and stay silent. When asked questions tell them you don't want to answer them. You are under no obligation to answer questions. They cant impound your car or arrest you for you lack of participation during the question/answer session. In order for them to impound your car they have to have cause, to search your car they must have your permission which they will try to get...either that or they see some contraband in your car and we all know not to Uber with contraband... There is no crime for circling around the airport and the only crime you committed for standing at the Terminal is a 54 dollar parking violation. So, do not answer questions. Stay silent. That's your right.
Also, the PA Cops are now coming up with an officer on both sides of the car thereby sweating you. They are now treating everyone like a violent criminal. So, especially dont move with these guys. Dont make any fast moves at all and have your paperwork in a very easily accessible place like your cup holder all ready to go. Lower all the windows in the car, make it easy for them to see you. Look straight forward with both hands on the wheel and stay in that pose until its over. Dont look over at the cops partner. You will see them in your peripheral vision. Always smile when dealing with the officer and act like he is your buddy. Helps to be friendly to defuse the encounter...the encounter which they are trying to escalate with their horribly unfriendly demeanor.