Officers warn of police impostors - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Officers warn of police impostors

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Some Heartland law enforcement agencies are warning about cases of police impersonation.

So in a line-up, could you spot the real officer and the impostor?

And what threat do these so-called cops pose to the public?

There are ways to make sure your traffic stop is a legitimate one.

For most drivers getting pulled over, your first thought isn't whether the flashing lights belong to an actual cop.

But area law enforcement is spreading a cautious message following reports of police impostors.

Officers say you don't have to pull over immediately if you feel unsafe during a traffic stop.

It's perfectly legal to slow down, turn on your hazard lights and find a populated area to pull over.

Once your car is parked, only open your window enough to hand over your information.

Cape Girardeau police officer Darin Hickey said trust your gut instinct and call 911 if you feel something is not right.

"If they've gone to the point where they're pretending and pulling someone over, do they have a weapon? Do they not? What are their intentions? Were they gonna try to harm somebody? And so we take that very seriously as law enforcement officers and we expect the public to take it very seriously too," said officer Hickey.

Officer Hickey adds there is no punishment for taking extra time to pull over in a well-lit area.

He said actual officers will recognize this as a safety precaution.

Officer Hickey recommends reporting any traffic stop you feel is suspect.

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