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Police Impersonators and How to Spot Them

Police Impersonators and How to Spot Them

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There have been a number of crimes in the USA and elsewhere committed by person impersonating law enforcement officers. How does one protect against this.

There have been a number of crimes in the USA and elsewhere committed by person impersonating law enforcement officers. How does one protect against this.


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Published by: Aurelia Masterson of Panamalaw.org on Sep 18, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Police Impersonators and How to Spot Them
Executive Summary
– There have been a number of crimes in the USA andelsewhere committed by person impersonating law enforcement officers. Howdoes one protect against this.
Traffic Stops
– Lets say you are driving in your car, late at night, on a desolateroad. An unmarked cars looking like a law enforcement vehicle approaches yourvehicle and display red or blue lights. Well this is meaningless. Such lights areavailable for sale on the Internet. Here are some links:Visor LED Police Light Police Lights So now this vehicle is behind you. The driver is in plain clothes. He then turns ona siren and PA system and tells you to pull over. Meaningless again since theseare also easily obtained on the Internet. What do you do? He may be an imposterwho can rob you, shoot you, rape you, beat you or even force you to take him toyour home and kill your entire family. Not good. Ok you put on your emergencyflashers and slow to about 15 or 20 miles per hour. Then you call the police onyour cell phone giving your location, describe the car and yourself and say youare too scared to stop. The person is not behaving like a police person. They willdeal with this seriously. They hate police impersonators and this is what will drivethem to get there fast and verify this person.If he were legitimate he would have notified dispatch that he was making a trafficstop with tag number and car description and location. Now he could be city,county or state and you may be calling a different agency so they will havedifferent dispatchers. If the officer is real he will realize what you are doing andgo along with it. He may give you an extra ticket for failure to pull over but youcan tell the judge the story and ask they judge what he or she would’ve donewith an unmarked car at night. If the so called officer starts ramming you,brandishing guns, trying to cut you off get the heck out of there at all costs. Donot stop, do not comply. If you are armed get ready to use your gun. Do notdisplay the gun but be ready to shoot this guy if you get run off the road. Nolegitimate police person will escalate the situation when you are going 15 to 20mph with flashers on. He will radio for assistance and a marked unit with lightswill show up fast.
Street Approach by Someone Saying they Are a Police Person
– Rarelywould an impersonator approach someone in the open in uniform. Uniform copsknow each other in their area and would get real interested in another uniformedcop in the beat. Now they can always use an obscure uniform like park police orsomething, but again unlikely. Getaways would be real hard for this person. If 
they are not in uniform then knowing who they really are can be a problem. Howdo you know their badge is real? There are many places on the Internet to buybadges. Pawn shops, eBay etc sell police badges, real and copies. The copies areas good as the real ones.One point is most real badges do have a badge number on the face of the badge.If the badge says chief or commissioner it may be without a badge number sincethere are only one of these issued. Most movie props and copies do not havenumbers but real badges and out of date badges are easily purchased. I saidmost not all. This will help. If you are in doubt pick up a cell phone call theagency he says he is from and ask to verify his identity and report the encounter.Say things like there is a guy or gal saying he is a cop of yours and has a badgebut is acting funny and I am scared can you help, I am at this location, my nameis etc. They will know the officer, contact him on the radio or his cell or send amarked unit out there fast. Again they hate impersonators and will be motivated.
Use of Credentials with or without Badge
– Credentials are ID cards, plasticlaminated with photo. They are often in a leather case. Some police departmentsissue one ID card with a metal badge. It is hard for a citizen to know what realcredentials look like. Badges can be fake as well as credentials so the answer is tocall and verify. Federal officers and agents often display these double ID cards bythemselves to identify themselves.No one really knows what these credentials look like so the thing to do is call theagency and ask for verification. If you try to find pictures of these credentials onthe Internet you will draw a blank. I guess they are afraid of people makingcopies of them. The ID you see on the TV shows is not authentic and the realones are different looking. If the Federal Agent does not have a badge, justcredentials he or she probably is not authorized to arrest you or carry a gun.These are referred to as soft credentials. So if you encounter one and they have agun and no badge when asked for one, be careful this is a good sign that youhave an impersonator.Most police and federal officers will wear a badge on their belt in front of theirgun. This is if they do not care who knows their identity. If they are trying toconceal who they are the gun will be more concealed and the badge maybe on aneck chain under a shirt or in a wallet in a pocket or purse. If you encounter asuspicious person showing any sort of credentials or badge just call 911 and say asuspicious person is saying they are a law enforcement officer and you think theyare acting strange and you are scared, providing your location early on in the calland your name. No real law enforcement officer is going to get that upset by thisbehavior. They will act bored, annoyed or may even be supporting this behavior.
What If they Demand You to Open The Door
– This happens more than themedia lets on. You get a knock at the door and there are two unmarked cars outside with men in marked raid jackets that say Police or something on them (easily
bought on the internet) saying open the door, lay down on the floor displayingyour empty hands, secure any dogs or they will be shot, etc. What do you do?First look to see if there are any marked cars with uniformed officers present. If so probably real police, if no marked cars be careful. Lock yourself in an interiorroom with a secure door. Get on cell phone, call the police give your address rightoff and describe the situation fast. Ask them if this is a real raid or if these areimpersonators. Ask for uniformed cars to be dispatched if they are saying well itmight be another agency raiding you. They will send a car or two over to seewhat is going on. Usually one agency will tell the local police they are conductingraid even if just a few minutes before. Do not come out until the police arrive.Shout out to them wait until the uniformed police arrive, they have been called,they do not know about the raid. Real law enforcement would probably bring auniformed local police person for a door-kicking raid. This should unsettle themsignificantly if they are imposters and they might take off. Try to get the licenseplate and car description but do not expose yourself, peek out of a window. Theymay say we cannot wait, you may be destroying the drugs etc. Ignore them. Saythe police do not know of this raid and are coming.Real police will have notified the locals before they go kicking in doors. They mayinsist they are coming in. Now you are in a tough spot. Are they real or not. If you have a gun get ready to use it. If you have a dog keep the dog in the roomwith you. Try to stay on the cell phone with the police so they can recordeverything in case you need to shoot them if they break door down and rush you.Ask the dispatcher what the ETA (estimated time of arrival) is for the police beingdispatched. The dispatcher will ask the officer rolling to you who will give an ETAand the dispatcher will tell you. If it is long then talk to the recorder and say thatis too long they are going to kill me, I am scared. What am I going to do, theyare going to shoot me and my dog. Help me. Send a helicopter.You are playing for the jury now and want them to know you fear for your life incase you do shoot someone. They need to hear terror and fear in your voice. Thepolice response time where you live could be 15 minutes and they might knowthis and decide to rush you. They may know you have valuables, this could be akidnapping, murder, who knows. People impersonating police can be veryunsettling to a person who may have even been a police person or Special Forcessoldier themselves for many years. It causes hesitation and delay in responses.The consequences for killing a police officer are always bad.
Law Enforcement Comes to You and Presents a Search Warrant
– First of all are there uniformed officers with marked cars present? If not caution. Manyprivate investigators that work for the rich and famous, big law firms and largecorporations are ex-law enforcement people. They do impersonate police to getinformation for their clients. They will have unmarked cars, raid jackets,

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