Metro-East News

Man ‘possibly impersonating a police officer’ prompts investigation, chief writes

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The New Athens Police chief said the department received a report that someone impersonated a police officer early Sunday morning..

“The case is currently under investigation so I will not release certain details,” Chief Leo Simburger wrote in a Facebook post Monday afternoon.

Simburger did say the vehicle reportedly had red and blue lights. The person reporting the incident told officers it may have been a light colored Dodge Charger and described the driver as a white bearded man in his late 20s or early 30s.

“I can say that no one was threatened or injured in the case. Since we live in a rural area, I just want to remind everyone of some safety measures you can employ should you see those lights in your rear view mirror,” Simburger wrote.

He reminded people they can drive to a nearby police department or call the police department at 475-2133 where the duty officer should answer the phone.

“If he is stopping you, then he will be able to communicate that to you,” Simburger wrote.

Another option, he said, is to call 911 and the operator should be able to confirm if a person is being stopped by a legitimate police officer through radio traffic.

“We take this very personal because people who do this betray and use the very trust you have in your police department to do potential harm,” Simburger wrote.

Dana Rieck: 618-239-2642, @ByDanaRieck