The Bonnyville RCMP would like drivers to be aware of an incident that happened on Highway 2 near Grande Prairie last week. A fake traffic cop pulled over a vehicle and asked the female driver to get out of the vehicle. The fake cop was driving an unmarked vehicle and had lights and sirens, which he used to indicate to the female to pull over. Luckily, the woman knew to ask for the man’s badge number and when he wouldn’t provide that or ID she drove away. **The Blackfalds RCMP Detachment have also reported a similar incident from January 12th, see below for details
Constable Laura Carroll, with the Bonnyville RCMP Detachment says one way to spot a real police vehicle is by knowing the area police force, “the public should be aware of vehicles driven by the RCMP and MD Peace Officers in our area along with their basic uniform. RCMP officers do have a standard of appearance and should appear groomed and clean shaven.”
The incident in Grande Prairie happened in the evening, which made it more difficult for the driver to recognize that the vehicle pulling her over was not a police car. Cst. Carrol says if it is evening and you fear for your safety there are options, “if you are pulled over at night and fear that it may not be a legitimate police officer you can, given it is a reasonable distance, pull over in a well lit populated area such as a gas station or other open business. Even with the current release from Grande Prairie RCMP regarding a male impersonating a police officer, the public is required to pull over for police officers when their lights and/or siren are activated.”
“If you are in a rural area during darkness and a believe that something is off about the police officer conducting a traffic stop with you, you can call 911 and verify that an RCMP officer on duty has advised them of the traffic stop.” Cst. Carrol says the female in Grande Prairie was very savvy in asking for a badge number, “all police officers may not carry a badge with them on patrol but can provide you with their name and badge number.”
For the majority of traffic stops in the Bonnyville area, Cst. Carrol says officers will be in full uniform. “The Bonnyville RCMP Detachment has not received any reports of impersonation of a police officer or any reports of suspicious persons which could relate to this type of occurrence.”
January 12th Press Release from the Blackfalds RCMP Detachment
On January 12, 2016 at approximately 1:05 pm a lone female was driving Northbound on Hwy 2a in Blackfalds when a newer model gray Jeep Patriot moved in behind her. The Patriot activated a siren and flashing head lights. The driver stopped her vehicle then was approached by a Caucasian male described as 6’ tall, late 50’s to early 60’s, white/yellow ear length hair, and wearing all black clothes.
The male identified himself as a police officer and presented a badge to the female driver. After asking for the driver insurance and registration the male gave her a “warning” and departed the area last seen Northbound on highway 2a. This male was not wearing a police uniform.
The RCMP are asking the public to report any information regarding this event to the Blackfalds RCMP detachment at 403-885-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477
UPDATE: The Blackfalds RCMP have learned the person in the Jeep was an officer from a neighbouring community.