How to tell a fake cop from a real one - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to tell a fake cop from a real one

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Binkive Walton was arrested Friday.  Police say he dressed up as Muscogee County Sheriff Deputy and invaded a north Columbus home. Then tried to do the same at another home.

Columbus police said Walton had no problem getting into a home and handcuffing a woman, because he was dressed like someone with the Sheriff's Office.

The first question many people had - how did he get that shirt?

Chuck Birch, manager at the Manuver Center Supply, sells shirts, hats, bags and more with official law enforcement markings on them. He says no law requires him to ask for ID, but he does for ethical reasons.  "You can always go to flea market or Ebay but you are not going to buy it from me, cause it is not going to be on my conscience if something should happen by somebody impersonating an officer and they bought materials from us," said Birch.

So, if they are wearing clothes that look the part, how do you tell if they are a legitimate officer or someone impersonating one?

Major Randy Robertson warns residents to pay attention to the equipment they are carrying, "firearm, taser, the expandable baton, radio and handcuffs." And, the vehicle they are driving.

If the visitor is still questionable, he said, do not hesitate to call 911 and ask if there should be an officer at your home.

Last, but not least, even a hair style can tip you off, like in the case from last week.

"Columbus and Muscogee Deputy Sheriff's and Police Officers are required to maintain a standard of grooming and this individual was way outside of that standard."

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