Man urging downtown Phoenix residents to be careful about person possibly posing as police officer

Posted at 7:35 PM, Oct 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 12:27:33-04

A Phoenix man is urging others to be cautious after spotting a man impersonating a police officer near downtown.

Jogging along Phoenix’s Bridle Path Sunday afternoon, Jeremy Besse said he spotted a man who at first looked like a regular guy.

“He was walking with a placard, like a Phoenix police badge, around his neck," Besse said.

That's not exactly unusual.

Except who Besse saw Sunday didn't seem like an actual officer. He said something about the man’s appearance was just off.

“Just a grey T-shirt, some dirty denim jeans, and he had a little bag on him, and he had a walkie talkie on his back, and a pair of handcuffs," Besse said. 

It was enough to make Besse uncomfortable and suspicious. 

Worried about what the man could be up to, Besse flagged down an officer to try to find the man, while alerting other runners. 

Besse later took to Facebook to warn people about a man dressed as a police officer wandering around Central and Maryland avenues.

In a post, he wrote “Heads up ladies who run or walk on Central! 6’2”, 175lb light skinned black male walking around wearing police badge around his neck with fake radio and handcuffs. Be alert! Seen and called in on 10/9 around noon. If you see him call crime stop 602-262-6151 or 911.”

The man wasn’t doing anything illegal, Besse said. So a formal police report wasn’t filed. However, police are offering some advice to people who live in the area.

“When in doubt, always request to see an ID. Calling 911 is an additional option to have the communications bureau verify an officer is at that location,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Jonathan Howard said.

Howard also explained that posing as an officer isn’t necessarily the biggest concern, but what the person is trying to gain from impersonation is something to be worried about.