Law enforcement impersonators a growing problem during pandemic

Posted at 1:57 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:19:11-04

COLORADO — The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everyone in some way, and law enforcement is no exception. With the stay at home order in place, law enforcement agencies say they're dealing with impersonators pulling people over, citing a violation of the order as the reason.

Law enforcement agencies want to make sure you know what to look for to avoid an interaction with an impersonator

The impersonators aren't just targeting people in urban areas, the Otero County Sheriff Shawn Mobley says he's recieved a few reports of these impersonators in his rural county. Mobley says no southeastern Colorado agencies are conducting traffic stops related to COVID-19.

"Knowing that somebody may be impersonating a police officer out there is very concerning to us," said Mobley, "we're having to focus more of our time out there trying to find these people and find out what exactly they're doing."

If you are getting pulled over and you're not sure if the law enforcement officer is legitimate Mobley says to call 911. By doing this, dispatch is able to confirm if there is a deputy or officer in the area making a traffic stop.

Those steps echoed by Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in a video posted on social media Tuesday explaining what to look out for from its troopers.

CSP added to let the officer know you see them and turn on your hazard lights as you call 911.

In some cases, law enforcement officers say to call the non-emergency line. A spokeswoman with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office says if you believe you are in danger call 911, but with the circumstances surrounding the virus right now- the non emergency line is a better way to report impersonators.

Currently, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Springs Police Department say they have not had any reports of impersonators.

In Otero County, Sheriff's deputies are asking for people to be on the lookout for a white man driving a black or dark colored Dodge Charger with lights on the dash.