PARAGOULD, Ark. – Authorities are examining the possibility that a police impersonator is operating in Greene County.
The concern was revealed in a press release by the Paragould Police Department. At approximately 10 p.m. Sunday night, a lone female reported that she had been stopped in the area of Hwy 135 and Fairview Road by a white Dodge Charger with blue lights in the grille and one on the dash. The supposed officer was described as a white male of medium build and approximately 5’10” tall. The woman stated that the “officer” was wearing an Arkansas State Police type uniform, including the campaign type hat that troopers wear.
After a short exchange with this alleged officer, the suspect left the area when other vehicles began approaching their location. The Arkansas State Police was contacted upon the report being made and it was confirmed that their agency had no one in that area on duty matching that physical or vehicle description.
If you are being stopped by what appears to be a law enforcement officer, yet you are not sure if it is a true officer, Paragould police offer these tips:
1. Do not accelerate or panic. If in doubt, turn your vehicle’s emergency flashers on and continue driving at normal speed. Call 9-1-1 to verify with dispatch that an officer is indeed attempting to stop you.
2. If it is dark, only pull over in a well-lit, populated area such as a parking lot or convenience store. Lock your doors, and do not turn your vehicle off.
3. For a routine traffic stop involving a traffic violation, if an officer immediately asks that you step out of the car without first telling you who they are and why they are stopping you, or without asking any other preliminary questions, be suspicious. Again, you may call 9-1-1 to verify that you have been stopped by a true law enforcement officer.
We will be working with other agencies in our area to identify and arrest anyone proven to be impersonating a law enforcement officer. If you have any information regarding this incident, or a similar incident that was not reported, we encourage you to contact our department at 870-236-7621. – The Paragould Police Department