Chesterton Tribune



Portage PD warns of possible officer impersonator on the road

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Portage Police believe that a man impersonating a police officer may have tried to stop a female motorist on Monday.

According to police, at 3:20 p.m. the motorist was driving in the area of Dombey Road and Central Ave. when she saw a male subject behind the wheel of a dark colored SUV “trying get her attention by flashing red and blue lights at her.”

“The lights were inside his vehicle near the dash” and “appeared to be coming from a mobile phone application,” police said.

The man was also motioning to the woman to pull over but the woman ignored him and kept driving.

At that point, police said, the man turned his vehicle around.

This incident has been the only one reported to Portage Police.

Sgt. Keith Hughes said that the woman “used good judgment by not stopping” for the man.

Under Indiana Code, only an officer in uniform or in a marked squad car may issue a citation or make an arrest, although an officer may stop a motorist to give a verbal warning.

“If you suspect that you may be being pulled over by a police impersonator, call 911 and make contact with a police dispatcher,” Hughes said. “The dispatcher will then be able to make contact with the officer and let them know your concerns. If you are unable to call 911, acknowledge the presence of the officer by waving out the window or in your rear-view mirror, then drive to a well-lit public location and then stop for the officer. Once stopped, tell the officer your concerns as to why you did not stop immediately.”

It is illegal in the State of Indiana to impersonate a police officer. “Except as required, a person may not drive a vehicle or equipment on a highway displaying a red, red and white, or red and blue light visible from the front center of the vehicle or equipment. This statute would include the red and blue light mobile phone applications. Anyone seen displaying these kinds of lights or mobile phone applications will be stopped, ticketed, and could face arrest depending on the outcome of the investigation. If you see someone operating a vehicle with these colored lights activated, you are asked to call police immediately.”



Posted 4/10/2013