Police Investigate Possible Officer Impersonation Reports

By: News Release
By: News Release

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two recent reports of drivers being pulled over by a white SUV or truck with flashing lights.

Checks with various local agencies could not locate any evidence of calls for the traffic stops being logged by a local law enforcement officer.

The first incident took place Friday, July 26 when a woman reported being stopped around 10:30 a.m. on State Road 85 near the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

The 43-year old Fort Walton Beach woman says a white SUV behind her turned on a blue light in the dashboard and she initially believed it to be a traffic stop by a law enforcement officer. She says a white male with blond hair and a green uniform approached her car but never identified himself or his agency. She did not recall any patches or insignia on his clothing. The woman says the man demanded her license and registration, then went back to his car before returning and warning her about her speed. The driver told OCSO deputies she had been driving sixty miles per hour in a 55 mph zone.

The second incident occurred on July 31 in the westbound lanes of Highway 98 in Destin. A 16-year-old Santa Rosa Beach teen said a white Ford with a light bar pulled him over in the parking lot of Another Broken Egg Café around 2:20 p.m.

He reports that a white male approached his car but the teen, who noticed the man was wearing khaki shorts and a T-shirt and did not have a badge or any law enforcement insignia, says he feared the man was not a deputy or police officer and he drove off. He says the man then got back in his vehicle, turned off the emergency lights, and head eastbound. The teen did not report the incident until the next day.

Drivers who feel uncomfortable if pulled over by an unmarked car are advised to slow down and indicate to the officer if possible that you are aware of their presence then proceed to the nearest well-lit, populated area to pull over.

You can also contact dispatch at 651-7400 or the number of the jurisdiction you are in to ask for verification that the traffic stop is being attempted by a legitimate law enforcement officer.

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