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Public warned of potential officer impostors

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Roswell police are reminding people to take precautions if they are suspicious of the authenticity of anyone presenting themselves as a law enforcement officer.

The warning comes after a police ballistic vest and handcuffs were discovered in a man’s car during a Feb. 8 traffic stop, according to a press release issued by the Roswell Police Department.

An RPD detective stopped a 22-year-old man driving a white Mazda four-door sedan after noticing the car’s brake lights were not working.

During the traffic stop at the intersection of South Washington Avenue and West Deming Street — at about 8:30 p.m. — the detective noticed the ballistic vest on the backseat of the car.

The man was also wearing a handcuff case on his belt, the press release states. A set of handcuffs was later found in the vehicle.

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The man denied using the items to impersonate a police officer and no charges were filed, but enough information was obtained to seize the handcuffs and vest, pending further investigation.

The vest had “POLICE” printed on it.

“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,” the press release states. RPD can be reached at 575-624-6770.

All RPD patrol officers have a badge, gun and police radio with them while on duty.

If a driver questions the legitimacy of someone attempting to pull them over, RPD advises driving to a well-lit, public area — where 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 after the driver is already stopped, the press release states.

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