Prattville dealing with rise in police impersonators - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Prattville dealing with rise in police impersonators

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The badge on the left is real. The badge on the right, taken from the latest impersonator, is fake. The badge on the left is real. The badge on the right, taken from the latest impersonator, is fake.

Katie Elam's is all of 18-years old, a Prattville native and can't recall a time when Autauga County has seen a rash of police wanna-bes. 

As an employee with Fox's Pizza Den in Prattville, Elam finds the police impersonator idea not so appetizing. 

"I do worry about myself, my friends and my sister," said Elam. 

These are the facts as of now. 

The last two police impersonators were caught at Target on Legends Parkway in Prattville. The first impersonator who pulled over a motorist on Interstate 65 South and again in the city of Prattville in February has yet to be captured.

"They can fool the public," said Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson. 

In a news conference today Prattville chief Mark Thompson and Johnson showed WSFA 12 News two badges. One is legitimate, shaped like a star and worn by county deputies. The other looks similar but a lighter-weight badge attached to a leather flap. This badge was taken from the last suspect arrested at Target. The suspect wore it around his neck. 

"We don't know where it came from but we're working on that," said Johnson. 

The sheriff and chief say they don't know why the area is suddenly seeing a rash of police impersonators in a short amount of time but what is clear to law enforcement this behavior is no badge of honor. 

"Every 54 hours a police officer is killed somewhere in the United States. Impersonating an officer is not a joke," said Thompson. 

As a matter of policy both departments don't hand out badges. The veteran lawmen say the three cases are not connected. 

As for Katie Elam she's now on guard should another impersonator strike again.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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