PORTAGE | Police in Portage are issuing a warning after someone, possibly impersonating a police office, tried to get a woman to pull over Monday along Dombey Road.
A woman reported to police that about 3:20 p.m. Monday, while she was driving in the area of Dombey Road and Central Avenue, a man driving a dark-colored SUV was trying to get her attention by flashing red and blue lights at her.
The lights were inside his vehicle near the dash area and appeared to be coming from a mobile phone. In addition to the red and blue lights, the man motioned for her to pull over.
The woman ignored the man and kept driving until she reached her destination and called police.
This was the only incident reported, said Sgt. Keith Hughes, and the woman used good judgment by not stopping for the man. Hughes said anyone believing they are being pulled over by a police impersonator should call 911 and let the police dispatcher make contact with the officer. If unable to contact 911, acknowledge the officer by waving at them and then drive to a well-lit public location before stopping and tell the officer about your concerns.
According to state law, Hughes said, an officer cannot write a ticket or make an arrest if not in a uniform or in a marked car. However, an officer can pull someone over and issue a verbal warning without being in uniform or in a marked car.
State law prohibits impersonating an officer as well as displaying a red, red and white or red and blue lights visible from the front center of the vehicle.
Hughes said that includes using cellphone applications which use the lights. Even if it is just a joke, he said, people displaying the application in their vehicle could be ticketed or arrested.