Police explain how to help spot cop impersonators

VIDEO: Police explain how to help spot cop impersonators

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police officers are urging people to know the difference between a cop, and someone impersonating one.

On Saturday, a man in Mt. Pleasant pretended to be a cop by placing a gun on a drive-thru window and asking the worker if they would like to touch it.

Over the weekend, Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was held at gunpoint by someone impersonating a law enforcement official.

Capt. Michael Fowler with the Hanahan Police said there are several things you can do if you feel skeptical about an officer's legitimacy.

"At any point if you don't' feel comfortable, ask to see the ID," Fowler said. Hanahan Police's policy dictates that somebody can ask to see a law enforcement official's identification. If an officer does not identify himself to someone, that could be something to look out for.

"If they don't identify themselves or what agency they're with, that's a potential red flag that you might want to be concerned about," Fowler said.

Fowler also said to make sure the name on the badge matches the patch on the shoulder. If you are pulled over and feel uncertain, you can also call the authorities.

"You can put your mind at ease anytime by just calling 911 and verifying where you are. If they tell you no we don't have any officers on a traffic stop in that area then they can send somebody there and hopefully catch somebody in the act," Fowler said.

If you are approached by someone and they begin to engage, Fowler said to comply. "If you stall you want to tell them that you're complying but not as quickly as they like but at no point do you want to argue or resist or anything like that."

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