KENNEWICK, Washington – Someone who isn’t a police officer allegedly conducted a traffic stop on a citizen and repeatedly identified himself as a law enforcement officer. The incident happened between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near West Clearwater Avenue and North Morain Street.
A citizen was driving eastbound on West Clearwater when the driver of an older model Ford Crown Victoria or Chevy Caprice equipped with a single rotating beacon, activated the beacon and stopped the citizen, according a news release from KPD Public Information Officer Aaron Clem. The impersonator requested to see the driver’s information and at one point reached into the vehicle in an attempt to open the door. The citizen became suspicious early on and began questioning the impersonator who ultimately admitted to not being a police officer.
“Impersonating a police officer is a severe offense and the Kennewick Police Department takes seriously any person who misrepresents themselves to be a law enforcement officer,” Clem stated. “Our department and our officers are committed to the safety of the community and work diligently each day to professionally enforce the laws and keep the peace.”
Clem added that citizens should be aware that the Kennewick Police Department Patrol Division operates a fleet of marked black and white patrol vehicles. The department does utilize unmarked vehicles in its operations and those vehicles are fully equipped with emergency signaling equipment.
“It is vitally important that the citizens of Kennewick know they can trust their police officers,” Clem said. “As such we will continue to monitor this incident and explore leads as we receive them. At this time however, this appears to be an isolated incident.”
To report suspicious circumstances, call dispatch at 509-628-0333 or 911.