It’s the stuff of mediocre comedy films, but a group of people who have been impersonating police officers for a number of years are facing felony charges.
So far, three people in Genesee County, Michigan – of which the city of Flint is the central hub – have been charged, while five co-defendants have been named.
Authorities believe there was a group of around ten people who have been masquerading as cops, having started doing so as far back as October 2015.
“We believe that on some occasions, they were the first to show up on crime scenes,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
“On some occasions, the real police would ask them to perform tasks at the scene, not realising they were imposters.”
The local press are reporting the group called themselves the Genesee County Fire and EMS Media-Genesee County Task Force Blight Agency – so, GCFEMSMGCTFA for short?
The issue was brought to the attention of local law enforcement after a complaint was lodged against rude park rangers at a local picnic spot in September 2017.
However, rather than simply being rude to the people they were fake protecting and serving, the group also actually handcuffed people, telling them they were trespassing at the picnic spot when it was, in fact, open to the public.
“We believe they’ve done this to other people,” Leyton said.
“We’re asking people to come forward if, in fact, they believe they’ve been victimised by people they don’t believe are real police officers.”
More than just approaching randos in parks the group also responded to 911 calls and even house fires – Police Chief, Terence Green, said one of his officers had turned the group away when they had arrived at a blaze to offer ‘assistance’.
Green also highlighted why the actions of the group were so serious.
“People are going to question if (plainclothes officers) are legitimate because of these individuals who are illegitimate,” the chief said.
As for the group’s motivation, Leyton said, “I don’t know what these people were thinking.”
It’s the million-dollar question – who the hell would want to do one of the world’s most thankless tasks if you aren’t even getting paid for it?