After a police ballistic vest and handcuffs were discovered in a man’s car during a Feb. 8 traffic stop, the Roswell Police Department reminds people to take precautions if they are suspicious of the authenticity of anyone presenting himself or herself as a law enforcement officer.
A 22-year-old man driving a white Mazda four-door sedan was stopped by an RPD detective who noticed the car’s brake lights were not working. The traffic stop at about 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of South Washington Avenue and West Deming Street led to the detective noticing the ballistic vest on the back seat of the car and the man wearing a handcuff case on his belt. A set of handcuffs was later found in the car. The man denied using the items to impersonate a police officer and no charges were made, but enough information was obtained to reasonably seize the handcuffs and the vest – with “POLICE” printed on it – pending further investigation.
RPD encourages citizens who have a legitimate reason to question the law enforcement authenticity of someone with whom they are dealing to call the agency with which the individual is affiliating himself or herself to confirm if that person is an actual officer with that agency. RPD can be reached at (575) 624-6770. All RPD patrol officers will have a badge, gun and police radio with them while on duty.
If a driver has reason to question the legitimacy of someone attempting to pull him or her over, RPD advises driving to a well-lit, public area where many people are present before stopping. The driver can also call 911 before stopping to relay the concern. A call to 911 would also be appropriate if an authenticity concern arises during a traffic stop in which the driver is already stopped.