By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In another case of police wannabes acting on impulse and getting themselves arrested, Shawn Robinson of Alexandria, Virginia is alleged to have pulled over a driver and announcing he was a police officer. The joke was apparently on him when the suspect he pulled over was an actual police officer who gave chase.
An off-duty police officer stated he was driving in the city of Dumfries when he alleges that Robinson, driving a Ford Crown Victoria, began following him. Robinson then used the vehicle’s spotlight to signal him to pull over. The officer, believing this to be an actual police vehicle stop, pulled over as signaled. Dumfries then positioned his vehicle alongside and attempted contact.
When the officer told Robinson that he was a police officer the wannabe fled the scene. After a short chase Robinson and another person in the Crown Victoria darted away on foot.
Robinson later turned himself in to authorities after an arrest warrant was issued.
This type of phenomenon happens occasionally in most states. Incidents such as this stem from the persons who have the desire to mimic police officers and live what they perceive to be the police experience. At first they begin acquiring police gear and sometimes later act on an irresistible urge to perform a police duty.
The Ford Crown Victoria, officially known as the Crown Victoria Police interceptor is the standard emergency vehicle used by various police agencies from the late 1990’s until recently when Ford discontinued its production. Most of these vehicles are auctioned off after retirement. In many states they are sold still having police gear such as push-bars, spotlights, antennae, and striping attached.
Several states have enacted laws prohibiting the auctioning of these former police vehicles with their police equipment attached due to this bizarre practice of those impersonating police officers.
While equipping a vehicle with spotlights, push bars, and various other devices used by police is not illegal, eliminating these devices at the source makes these vehicles less attractive to those wanting to impersonate officers. It would be prudent for other states to take such measures and minimize this type of bizarre practice.
By Darren Smith
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