LAS VEGAS, N.M. – Jessie Vigil's black-and-white car sports a red-and-blue emergency bar across the top and the word "police" painted on the doors.
Vigil, however, isn't a cop.
Law enforcement agencies say what he's done with his car isn't illegal as long as he doesn't act like a police officer.
He started decorating his 2007 Ford Mustang last summer to look like the police cruiser in the "Transformers" movie because his 7-year-old son, Thomas, was fond of the film.
"My intent was to re-create the movie car," said Vigil, a 35-year-old disabled veteran from the war in Iraq. "When I came back from Iraq, I tried to spoil him. I wasn't the best dad before."
He said he called the district attorney's office beforehand and spoke to Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Ulibarri, who tried to discourage his decorating scheme but couldn't find anything in the law that would stop Vigil as long as he didn't impersonate an officer.
Ulibarri said a state law prevents people from mimicking state police cars, which are painted black and white. But he also said the state police sell their old cars to private citizens without changing the colors.
"Are we violating our own law by not repainting them?" he asked.
He called the state law vague, and noted that normal state police cars aren't Mustangs.
"I don't think this guy has any intent to mimic a state police officer," Ulibarri said. "I'm not hearing that he is causing a problem and arresting people."
A close look shows Vigil's car isn't a police cruiser. Instead of the familiar slogan "To protect and serve," it carries a motto: "To punish and enslave" on the side. Instead of telling people to dial 911 for emergencies, the Mustang advises them to "dial 411 for theater information."
He originally marked his car, "Transformers police" but later changed it to just "police." He also added what appears to be a bar of emergency lights, but said they're not actual lights.
Vigil acknowledged people have mixed feelings about his car.
State police Capt. Craig Martin said the agency is "concerned for the safety of people who think he is an officer and think they may get help from him.
"People around town know who he is, but not those people on the interstate."