© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Local Sheriff To Residents: Be Wary Of People Posing As Officers In Unmarked Vehicles

A Florida Highway Patrol car
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Local law enforcement agencies are asking residents to be careful of people posing as officers and pulling unsuspecting victims over.

This past Sunday night, three black unmarked vehicles stopped a Franklin County driver between Sopchoppy and the Franklin County Line Route 319.

“They also handcuffed the individual and put him in the back of a car, and then released him. He was issued no citation,” said Franklin County Sheriff A.J.  Smith, in a facebook video. “He was not arrested.”

Smith says the men identified themselves as state troopers from the Florida Highway patrol.

“To the best of our knowledge, we have not been able to identify them as law enforcement,” he added. “One actually had a bulldog at the back of the truck and a cap that said ‘FHP.’ FHP has no knowledge of these people.”

If anyone has a similar experience, Smith is asking those individuals to contact their local sheriff’s office.

“We take this very seriously and we also want to let you know that if you are stopped by an unmarked vehicle, and you’re not sure, proceed to an area that is well lit,” he continued. “And, if you’re not sure that the person is a law enforcement officer, ask for their credentials and ask for a supervisor. Do not exit your car. And, if necessary, call our dispatch center. If it’s in Wakulla County, call the sheriff’s office. If it’s in Franklin County, call the Franklin County Sheriff’s office. We can tell you if it’s one of our law enforcement officer or if it’s a state law enforcement officer.”

Smith says the black unmarked vehicles were a Taurus, a Tahoe, and a Chevy Z71. Anyone with any information or questions surrounding this incident should call their sheriff’s office.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.