SUFFOLK, Va. - Police are investigating an incident after a man says that he was stopped in his vehicle by a subject impersonating a law enforcement officer.
Records say that around 8:53 a.m. on September 10, the victim was allegedly stopped in the 1500 block of Freeman Mill Road in his vehicle and was confronted by a white man who claimed he was a police officer.
The subject was further described as in his 50s or 60s who was approximately 6’0” tall and weighing 200 pounds with brown and gray hair and a gray mustache. The vehicle was a white, late-model Dodge Charger with no markings but with a police-style spotlight at the driver’s side door.
After a verbal confrontation, the subject left the premises in his own vehicle.
Suffolk Police stated on October 22, that a suspect was identified as an employee of the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the case was submitted for legal analysis and review to the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips Ferguson declined to prosecute and determined there was no evidence of criminal misconduct.
The department sent out several tips to remember in order to protect yourself during a traffic stop while helping police officers do their jobs:
- Make sure it is a marked police unit. If it is not a marked unit, the emergency lights should be built-in and are usually not a temporary light placed on the vehicle.
- Try to stop in a well-lit area or in a location where there are a lot of people present (Shopping Center, Fire Station, Restaurant Parking lot, etc.).
- Turn on your emergency flashers but don’t turn off your car.
- Do not get out of the vehicle to meet the officer and lock your door.
- Look for a uniform, official Department jacket, and other equipment used by police officers for the performance of their duties.
- If the officer is in plainclothes, look for identifying clothing and equipment. If unsure, explain to the “officer” that you are unsure about the situation and ask them to display official Department identification and badge. Call 911 to advise of your location and to confirm their identity. You may also request a marked patrol unit respond.
- If in a remote or dark area, call 911 to advise them of the incident and your location, provide a description of your vehicle and the suspect vehicle, and travel at a low, safe speed with your emergency flashers on until you reach an area where you feel safe or as advised by Emergency Dispatchers.
- Pay attention to what they are asking. Most officers will advise you of the reason for the stop and request your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions, be suspicious. Trust your instincts. If they don’t seem to be a real police officer, they are probably not.
There’s a law in every state against impersonating a police officer. Those who impersonate police officers erode the public’s trust in law enforcement and may endanger unsuspecting people. If convicted, it is punishable by prison time, a fine or both.
Anyone that has information is asked to contact Suffolk Police or Suffolk Crime Line:
Your tip could make you eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.