Julie Humphreys, 509.622.5868
Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:03 p.m.
Please be advised the Spokane Police Department has received two different complaints of a citizen being approached by someone impersonating a police officer. In both cases the suspect acted under the pretense of checking the status of the citizen to determine if he or she was an essential worker or engaging in essential business.
SPD has determined these encounters were not conducted by actual SPD officers. Your assistance in getting this information out to the public, both as a warning to the community and to gather information on the suspect/s, is greatly appreciated.
The latest incident occurred last night after 10pm when a healthcare worker was pulled over in their vehicle by someone in an unmarked car, impersonating a police officer. The healthcare worker provided a health worker ID badge which the impersonator said was insufficient to confirm their profession.
The first incident occurred March 26 around 6am. A man was waiting at a bus stop when someone in a dark colored Crown Victoria, equipped with limited emergency lights in the interior, pulled up beside the man and asked him what he was doing out. The man replied he was going to work and the police impersonator told him he would need paperwork from his employer in order to be out.
It is important to know the Spokane Police Department is not targeting random people on the streets to inquire about their working status during this COVID19 pandemic. Nor are people required to have paperwork proving they are essential workers.
If you are stopped or approached by a law enforcement officer in plain clothes driving an unmarked vehicle, you are within your rights to ask the officer for his ID, and/or to request a uniformed officer be present. Additionally a driver should call 9-1-1 if they believe the person is not a police officer
It is illegal to impersonate a law enforcement officer.
Officer John O'Brien