In May 6 Issue
A Russell Springs man was arrested in Pulaski County last week for impersonating a police officer, among other charges, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department.
Robbie L. Brown, 39, of East Ky. 80 in Russell Springs, was arrested last Wednesday and charged with impersonating a police officer, possession of a radio that sends and receives police messages, and carrying a concealed deadly weapon.
The arrest came as the result of an investigation conducted by Pulaski Deputy Scott West, Pulaski Deputy Jason Lay, and Pulaski County Public Safety Director Tiger Robinson after they responded to a complaint involving Brown at a local business in Somerset.
Brown had entered the business and was wearing a deputy sheriff’s badge around his neck, according to the sheriff’s department. He was also carrying a handheld police scanner that was programmed and receiving law enforcement transmissions, including all Pulaski County frequencies.
The witness was familiar with local volunteer firefighters, and recognized that Brown was, in fact, not one. This witness contacted Robinson, who then got in touch with the sheriff’s office to investigate.
Sheriff Todd Wood noted that the badge around the neck was marked as a sheriff’s department badge, but had no indication of any specific county or location to which the badge may have previously belonged. It was in a badge holder, featured the Commonwealth’s seal, and “looked very real,” said Wood. The suspect also carried a volunteer firefighter’s badge that he was wearing around his waist.
Brown was not taking any specific action under the guise of law enforcement’s authority, noted Wood, but apparently looked the part.
“There was no report that he was speaking on behalf of law enforcement,” said Wood of the suspect. “He was certainly dressed as if he was (a deputy), and presented himself to the public by what he was wearing that he was in emergency services.”
Added Wood, “If something happened where someone came to him immediately for help in a quick fashion, they’d think he was there for them (as a representative of law enforcement), but that person is not there for them.”
Brown told authorities that he had purchased the badge from a dealer who sold that equipment, but didn’t say where the dealer was located, according to the sheriff. More distressing is the police scanner, suggested Wood, since it was programmed with local frequencies — that means it had to have been in the possession previously of someone who could have programmed it as such. Wood said that the sheriff’s department is checking into where he may have obtained the radio, and if there’s any knowledge of any scanners being stolen.
Sheriff’s units also discovered a semi-automatic handgun during a search of the vehicle in which Brown was a passenger. Wood said that Brown said the gun had belonged to him for “quite some time.”
Brown was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The investigation is continuing by the sheriff’s office in Pulaski County.
Information form this story courtesy of Chris Harris of the Commonwealth Journal in Somerset.