During the time of repossessions many typically happening in the middle of the night. The neighbors see a strange car snooping around the neighborhood, or even someone walking around by foot to verify a VIN on the dash. The police end up getting a call and show up. Some states such as New York, the police must be called ahead of time to let them know the repo will be in progress, if that is the case upon arrival the police will verify the tag number.
If the repossession is happening in Florida and the police come, as long as there is no issues the repo remains a civil matter and they typically stay nearby until the repo is finished. Not always, sometimes they just take off and let the repoman complete the job on his own. It is actually against the law for the police to assist the repossession agent in any way although very few people besides licensed repossession agents know this.
Many times a debtor will call the police in an effort to get them to come and stop the car from being taken. This can become successful if the debtor begins to raise a stink and says the repoman is trespassing or breaching the peace at which point the police can tell you not to take the car, but this is very rare. The police might ask to see the paperwork and if they do look at the actual repo order, they will allow the repossession to continue flowing.
Repossession laws and regulations
The thing is in the repo industry very few people besides the actual repo agents know the state laws and regulations involved, but they do know the repo is a civil matter therefore staying out of it. If the debtor becomes irate or violent which is usually the case, they might restrain the debtor while the repo agent completes the job regardless if it a civil matter or not. In Florida state it is illegal to ask police to assist in a repo because it becomes almost like a strong arm or makes it seem that it is a criminal matter forcing the debtor to give up the unit, a very similar situation to repomen not being able to use a badge during the job. This becomes impersonation of a police officer, or even if the badge says repo, from a distance it looks like a police badge.