MPD warns citizens of potential false officer

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An investigation continues Thursday, June 23, after a Marshall citizen was pulled over by someone police believe to have been impersonating an officer Tuesday evening.

According to a release from the Marshall Police Department, a concerned citizen reported his wife being pulled over at approximately 9 p.m. The caller reported the individual in question pulled them over using a black car with no markings and lights on the dash. The individual in question was reported to be a younger white male wearing a black button-down shirt and khaki pants. According to the caller, the individual failed to introduce himself, declare what department he was working for and did not provide any identification.

MPD offers the following advice for citizens should an individual potentially impersonating an officer attempt to conduct a traffic stop.

First, slow down in case it is a real officer performing his duties. Signal intent to pull over and do so in a public place with other people in the area. Alternatively, citizens could pull over immediately, but keep their doors locked and only roll down the window enough to pass their driver's licenses and proof of insurance through.

Next, citizens should get a good look at the individual and their credentials. If the officer is not in uniform, refuses to produce a badge or just flashes it briefly, keep the window rolled up and the doors locked.

If the officer continues to refuse to present his credentials, ask for him to call another officer to the scene.

"While it may aggravate the officer if he is in fact the real deal, it could save your life if he's not," the release states. "A real officer will understand your concern and have no problem with calling a fellow officer (or supervisor) to the scene. There have been several cases of crimes being committed by persons impersonating police -- and most departments are very sensitive to people's legitimate concerns in regard to this."

Finally, if the officer begins acting in an odd manner when asked for identification, which could include making threats or other non-professional behavior, citizens are encouraged to inform the officer of their discomfort with the situation and offer to follow him to the nearest police station. In such an instance, citizens are encouraged to dial 911 and explain the situation to the operator. After giving the operator their location, the release states citizens should find out very quickly if the officer is legitimate, and if not, an impostor will likely vacate the area quickly.

Individuals with any further questions can contact the Marshall Police Department at 660-886-7411.

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