OPP investigating reports of someone impersonating an officer in Wellington County

Under a state of emergency, Ontario and many municipalities have banned residents from congregating in, or using, public parks amenities. Violators are seeing high fines. Seán O’Shea reports.

Ontario Provincial Police say they have been receiving reports that someone has been impersonating an officer in Wellington County.

In a news release, OPP said a man has reportedly been stopping people and asking if they are an essential worker amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The OPP is not conducting random traffic stops to check motorists’ work status during the COVID-19 pandemic, nor are drivers required to prove they are an essential worker to police,” Acting Insp. Paul Richardson said.

Police said in one incident on April 14, a driver was reportedly pulled over by a man pretending to be a police officer and asked to prove if they were an essential worker.

Nothing else came of the incident but police said the fake cop was wearing a ballistic vest with the word “police” in yellowish-orange letters across the front, but not on the back.

He was also driving a black four-door sedan that may have been a Ford Fusion or Ford Taurus. Police said there was a blue strobe light on the dash and an antenna on the trunk.

OPP said drivers are within their rights to ask for identification or request a uniformed officer be present if they are pulled over by a plain-clothed officer driving an unmarked vehicle.

Drivers can also call 911 if they have reason to believe the person is not a police officer.

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Anyone with information on this incident or something similar can call Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through its website.

Residents can find more information regarding restrictions during the pandemic can be found on the OPP’s website.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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