Reporting an Impersonation of a Police Officer
December 23, 2013 10:16 PM Subscribe
Today I was talked to by an older man who I believe was impersonating a police officer, but without any harm or foul intent. Should I follow up on it, and if so, is there a way to do it without ruining his life?
posted by Deflagro to Law & Government (44 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry for the confusing story. I can provide clarification if something isn't clear. As usual: YANML.
Myself and three friends (all college age) decided to go find a geocache. We parked at the end of a dead-end road next to a park (but not in the park's parking lot) near a well-trafficked road. Behind the berm at the end of the road is a small (relatively unknown) trail that goes through the woods to the lake that a bunch of houses are on (this is the only wooded area on the lake). As we are getting our stuff out of our cars (three cars total), this white car pulls up behind us with its hazards on and blocks us in. There's a man in there in his 60s who flashes a badge (but puts it away before we can get close enough to see it) who starts to ask us questions. He asks first what we're doing and we explain hiking and the trail. He says he was concerned since people normally don't park there (I live very close by and have parked there multiple times for that trail) and asks us where we're from. At this point he has not introduced himself. We gave very generic answers saying other parts of the metro area (which was true for my friends, I didn't want to tell him I live just a few minutes away) and apologize for concerning him. He seems kinda friendly and mentions we would never believe the stuff he has caught around here and gives cocaine as an example saying he arrested those guys. Says if he was concerned that we were dangerous he would have approached with his weapon out. Then he described his handgun and mentions it's in the car. He then noticed one of the guys was wearing a Boy Scout t shirt and starts making small talk. We tell him we all work at the local camp and he talks about how great the scouts are. He went on a small tangent how he trained Navy Seals in marksmanship and a veteran of three wars: Vietnam, Somalia, and Desert Storm. He then gets back to scouting and says if we ever want him to come talk to scouts about the importance of the program, to give him a call. This is when we asked him his name. He then wrote down his name and phone number for us and then left.
A few notes:
-Never specifically told us he was LEO besides flashing a badge.
-The badge was in one of those flip-out wallets, but we didn't see what it said.
-It was an older car with no markings and two small dogs in the back
-We were on a public street next to a public park in the day down the road from a fire station
-Mentioned he was a career pilot and that's why he moved here (saying he wasn't in a local scout troop)
-Mentioned he was almost a city commissioner
-We believed he was LEO at the beginning but I began to doubt when he started talking about his firearm
-The city is a suburb of a large metropolitan area
-The city does not have it's own police department and is under the County Sheriff Department
My friends feel it's not a big deal and we should drop it. I felt uncomfortable about it and didn't like it happening right outside my neighborhood, specifically being blocked in by a non-police officer (assuming he's not a police officer). I felt that a real police officer wouldn't describe his firearm to us and would identify himself better. I am considering following up with the sheriff department, but I don't want to press charges on him. I just want someone to inform him that he's not Batman and that he can't do that sort of thing (assuming he's not LEO). One sidenote is that I'm leaving town the day after Christmas for a week, so it'd be after the first of the year if I don't go now.
Should I follow up and if so, would the Sheriff Department be required to press charges or do anything of that sort?