Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

How Do You Know Someone is Really a Police Officer?

A man in Massachusetts impersonated a law enforcement officer. The man threatened to arrest a woman if she did not agree to have sex with him for money. The man’s vehicle was also equipped with a police sticker and a police symbol on the windshield, and the man wore a knit cap that said Boston Police.  

Ultimately, the woman escaped from her vehicle and the police impostor. The man was later arrested and detained by Boston law enforcement. He now faces charges related to paying for sexual conduct as well as impersonating law enforcement.

Unfortunately, a large number of police impersonators are committing violent offenses all across the country. Many people have been left wondering how they can quickly distinguish a real police officer from a fake one. The following are some important details that can help you prevent being taken advantage of by an impostor.

At the Front Door

Fortunately, some clever clues can help you distinguish whether the person at your front door is a police officer. First, you should check to see if the officer knocks and announces their presence. You should also inspect the officer’s uniform, which should include things like equipment and a police badge. Additionally, you should know that companies have largely prohibited the sale of law enforcement badges and uniforms to people who are not police officers. If you are at all able to assess that the person at your door is wearing a fake uniform, you definitely should not open the door, and instead call 911. 


There are many people online who have grown comfortable with impersonating law enforcement. On a person’s profile, you should look for vague references to previous positions as well as a profile photo showing an eagle, flag, or another symbol instead of simply a headshot. Not everyone who looks like police online is a real member of the force. 

Traffic Stops 

The quickest way to spot a person impersonating a police officer is to distinguish a fake cop car, which might be aged or running poorly. You should also look for reflective decals on both the side and hood of the vehicle. You should also remember, flashing LED bar lights are required in combination with flashing head and tail lights on most police vehicles. Most police vehicles are also equipped with sirens to gain the attention of the person who is pulled over. If a car looks suspicious, remain inside your locked vehicle and call 911 to confirm the alleged officers’ identities.

Stay Safe

If you are worried that someone who is presenting as a police officer might not be one, you should take some precautions. For example, you might be able to utilize a 911 dispatcher to verify the officer’s presence. Cases abound of people pretending to be police officers. It is up to you to remain vigilant. A true officer should not object to your verifying their identity by calling 911. 

Contact a Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney

Being arrested can be a frightening experience. If you find yourself in such a situation, one of the best things that you can do is contact an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today to schedule a free case evaluation.