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Troopers investigating potential incident of fake police officer in Fairbanks

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 5:27 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

Alaska State Troopers are investigating an potential incident of someone impersonating a law enforcement officer. Troopers in Fairbanks received reports Thursday from a woman who said she was pulled over by someone pretending to be from the Fairbanks Police Department. The woman, who also posted about the incident to Facebook said that she was placed in handcuffs and told it was in relation to an incident that happened near-by.

According to AST, they are unaware of any law enforcement agency in Fairbanks conducting a stop in the area. AST Lieutenant Jess Carson said there are other agencies like the railroad who have vehicles that could have been used for a stop but they are still investigating.

“I understand that... the idea of having somebody impersonating a police officer in town can be relatively scary. It’s really uncommon, it doesn’t happen very often, we are going to be out, we are going to be looking to see the validity of the complaints. We are going to be searching to see if we can find a vehicle that matches this,” Carson said.

He also gave some tips for what someone should do if they think someone is pretending to be the police. “When you are pulled over by a police officer, still continue to pull over [but] if you have concerns dial 9-1-1. Our dispatch will let you know if it’s a real officer or not. If it is in a fully marked vehicle there is no reason to call 9-1-1, it is absolutely a police officer.”

Carson said because of the recent incident, he has seen some misinformation online that people don’t have to stop if they don’t think the officer is real. Carson said that is not true and that people should pull over and then call 9-1-1 to check.

He also said that even unmarked cars have defining characteristics, “Some differences between our vehicles and a vehicle you may see though. You’ll notice with our vehicles it’s not just a light that is hung from a visor, the lights are actually mounted in and at different locations on the vehicle.”

Marked an unmarked AST vehicles. Carson said that even the unmarked ones have built in lights. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
Marked an unmarked AST vehicles. Carson said that even the unmarked ones have built in lights. (John Dougherty/KTVF)(John Dougherty/KTVF)

Carson also said that all law enforcement officers will have a badge and are required to show it if asked. This doesn’t just apply to the uniformed officers, but also undercover officers.

“Our undercover officers upon request can all show you their badge, and must show you by our policies that they have a badge on them. If they do not have a badge they are not allowed to be doing any type of police activities,” Carson said.

AST Lieutenant Jess Carson demonstrates how to identify various types of Troopers. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
AST Lieutenant Jess Carson demonstrates how to identify various types of Troopers. (John Dougherty/KTVF)(John Dougherty/KTVF)

Carson also stressed that if someone sees anything suspicious to call 9-1-1.

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