Real police advise how to avoid fake cops in Metro Detroit

Advice follows arrests of two off-duty officers in robbery

By Roger Weber - Reporter

ROSEVILLE, Mich. - The chief of the Roseville police department has advice for drivers who believe they are being pulled over or pursued by police impersonators.

The advice comes after the arrests of veteran police sergeants from Detroit and St. Clair Shores for a recent armed robbery and assault.

Related: Detroit police chief gives more details in 'fake cop' case

Roseville police chief James Berlin said fake officers may have uniforms, guns and badges, but almost never have flashing lights on the roof of their vehicles.

"We have installed overhead lights on all of our traffic cars, which have been typically unmarked or semi-marked vehicles for officer identification safety, so there is no mistaking who is pulling you over," Berlin said.

Cars with flashing red or yellow lights, but no flashing blue lights, might be considered suspicious.

Chief Berlin offered advice for what to do if a driver has doubts about the car attempting to pull them over.

"Head to a well-lit public area, if possible or to the local police department if you know where you are at. Don't go pulling into dark alleyways," Berlin said.

Roseville police chief James Berlin was asked if a driver looking for a safe place might make a real officer think they are trying to escape.

"You do run that risk but most officers, if you finally do stop, don't take off at a high rate of speed. Maintain a normal rate of speed or the speed limit, or put your hand out the window. Flag that you are going toward a street light or a public building," Berlin said.

The Roseville police chief said if a driver is pulled over, the officer should have a badge and a department ID with his name on it. If a driver asks for identification, a real officer will have no trouble showing his department identification.

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