THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF) — The McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office got information that a dark color car with a blue light on the dash pulled over someone early Wednesday around 2 AM. The alleged police impersonator had some sort of conversation with the driver, then allowed them to leave. The Chief Deputy for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office says police officers in unmarked cars generally are not working traffic.
“Those are not the guys that are just out there running speed in our state,” said Lewis Blanchard. “In South Carolina, it’s different; unmarked cars do work traffic in South Carolina. They don’t have to marked cars to do traffic in that state.”
There have been impersonation incidents in North Augusta, Burke County, and now McDuffie County. Chief Blanchard says if you don’t feel safe when being pulled over, follow these steps: Turn on your hazards, and drive slowly to the nearest place that is well lit, then call dispatch.
“If you do believe it is a problem, go ahead and call 9-1-1,” explained Blanchard. “Say I’m at this location, and whatever else. The dispatcher can verify for you that we have an officer trying to stop you at this time, at this location.”
Because it could possibly lead to another issue.
“We’ve seen it before, where people failed out of police academy, and they want to be a cop,” said Blanchard. “We saw cops that use to be a cop, and they are no longer a cop, and they might be on a power trip. We have seen it where people are trying to obtain information: where the person lives, whether they are psychotic, or wanting to rape someone. And we’ve seen it for robbery.”
The Chief Deputy says the best way to spot out a fake, is one blue light on the dashboard.
“If a vehicle pulls up behind you, with a simple blue light, most likely that is an issue,” explained Blanchard. “Police officers that are in marked vehicles are not trained to conduct traffic stops for insignificant offenses.
If you have any information about the incident, you are asked to contact the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office.
Photojournalist: Will Baker