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UPDATE: One cop impersonator report in Brown County was false

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

The Brillion News

BELLEVUE – The Brown County Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday, March 26, said one of the two reports of a police impersonator stopping people for failing to comply with COVID-19 emergency restrictions was fabricated.

The sheriff's department issued a statement on the situation.

"Much like there are laws and penalties against impersonating a police officer, there are also laws and penalties against filing a false police report," it said. "After further investigation, our officers discovered the second report of the police impersonator which occurred in Allouez was a false report ... Our societal norms are being challenged, our health and safety is being compromised, people are afraid...for anyone to take advantage of our current climate to instigate even more fear is incredibly disheartening!!"

The first report of a police impersonation remains as a valid report. Someone impersonating a law enforcement officer displayed red-and-blue lights and stopped a vehicle to challenge them over compliance with the state’s “safer at Home” order asking people to sequester at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That happened in rural southern Brown County.

“We are not doing compliance checks, so if you are contacted by someone claiming to be an officer and demanding to see your work papers, please contact your local [law enforcement] authority,” the sheriff’s department said in a press release. “We would love to identify the individual(s) involved.”

The incident was a “traffic stop” in a rural area. The sheriff’s department said the suspect was described as a white male in his 30s, with a short brown bears. He was wearing a green uniform and black baseball-style cap with no insignia on it. He had a name plate clipped on his shirt with the name “Benjamin” on it. The man has a microphone clipped to his shirt and a clip might on his cap.

The sheriff’s department said he was driving a dark blue or black Chevrolet Impala, with no markings. It had red and blue lights along the windshield.

The second incident reports - which was false - allegedly happened in Allouez near a gas station.

In a Facebook post on March 26, the sheriff's department made it clear that arrest and prosecution are options.

"Those who impersonate officers are making our jobs more difficult. Those who are reporting false crimes are taking our attention away from those who need it. Both are punishable and will be treated as such," the statement said..

Anyone having information about the valid incident is asked to call the Brown County Sheriff’s Department non-emergency number 920-391-7450 or Crime Stoppers at 920-432-STOP.

The sheriff’s department said it will not be conducting traffic stops for Safer at Home compliance checks.


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