Man accused of impersonating cop turns out to be federal officer 

Man accused of impersonating cop turns out to be federal officer 

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A man accused of impersonating police turned out to be an off-duty federal officer. (Credit: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office)
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  • The officer was off duty during the traffic stop. 
  • He never identified himself or the agency he represented, officials said.
  • He even backed off once he realized the citizen was recording the encounter.

Aside from the blue light mounted in his unmarked SUV and the weapon on his hip, a man recorded during a traffic stop didn’t look like an officer at all.

But looks can be deceiving, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office learned Tuesday morning.

Hours after officials asked the public to help them identify a “suspected police impersonator,” they issued a retraction and said that the man is in fact an officer with a federal agency.

“We have positively identified him as a certified law enforcement officer in an off-duty capacity at the time of this incident,” sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Marianne Kelley said in a statement. 

The name of the officer was not released, but Kelley said he worked for the Department of Treasury.

The mix-up began about 4 p.m. Monday, when the officer pulled over a citizen in the area of Ball Ground and Hightower roads in Ball Ground.

“The citizen who was stopped felt concerned over what he described as an irregular contact,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement. 

The officer never identified himself or the agency he represented, according to the sheriff’s office. He even backed off once he realized the citizen was recording the encounter.

“He was wearing his agency-issued badge,” Kelley said, “but did not have on any other identifying credentials or documentation.”

Kelley said the officer made the stop after seeing a driver run a stop sign at a four-way stop and “wanted to make sure the driver wasn’t impaired.”

Law enforcement officers generally are in uniform or will identify themselves to you and advise you of the agency where they work, she said.

The sheriff’s office notified the officer’s immediate supervisor of the traffic stop.

“I don’t know what their protocol is,” Kelley said. “It would not be appropriate for one of our own officers to pull someone over and then not identify what agency they work for.” 

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