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Badge is not Enough - Identifying Law Enforcement

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  • Badge is not Enough - Identifying Law Enforcement

    Originally posted by Reprinted from CNN. Copyright (C) 2005 CNN.
    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Federal agents arrested a man on Monday, charging him with possessing and selling more than 1,300 counterfeit badges representing 35 law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency said.

    The counterfeits are "very, very good," said Special Agent in Charge Martin Ficke, who added that nine out of 10 would "pass scrutiny."

    The phony badges mimic real badges from agencies such as the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Customs, Drug Enforcement Agency, Treasury and New York Police Department, Ficke said. Some even had a signature from the company that makes the real badges.

    "For someone to have that in their possession and utilize it to identify themselves as law enforcement could be devastating to security, particularly homeland security," Ficke said.

    Officials said the badges were shipped from Taiwan to San Francisco, California, and were discovered by a customs agent who then contacted Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency officials in New York.

    Posing as a DHL courier, a federal agent delivered the package to the Bronx apartment of Sergio Khorosh, a Russian who is a permanent U.S. resident, the agency said. After he signed for the package, U.S. Marshals served a search warrant.

    Along with the badges, they seized two NYPD police uniforms, two-way radios and six firearms, including a Glock 9 mm handgun, a Beretta semiautomatic rifle and a Winchester shotgun, the agency said. Agents also confiscated a used casing from a shoulder-fired missile.

    Federal agents are searching computer files seized from Khorosh to try and determine who might have bought the badges, which sold for $35 to $50, the agency said.

    Khorosh was arraigned Monday night, agency officials said. He is scheduled to be back in New York Southern District court May 23, officials said.
    Most security officers/guards feel a need to blindly acquiesce to any person who displays an official looking law enforcement badge. Some do it because they were taught, "Obey the police," some do it out of fear of arrest, others do it because they feel that the police automatically do a better job than the security officer can.

    Several times, I have had persons flashing a badge at me, while attempting to interfere in whatever lawful activity I was undertaking. This usually was due to their view that "security shouldn't accost people," or because the person that was being removed/detained/questioned was an acquientance.

    It is imperative that you, as an armed professional, never let your guard down because someone flashes a badge at you. If the holder of that badge is invoking offiical authority, they should be prepared for that authority to be verified. Ask to see not only the badge, but also the photo identification that goes along with it.

    I do not know of a law enforcement agency that does not issue photo identification to all sworn employees. Just as, in most cases, your state requires you to have an identification card showing you are an employee of your company, so must the police officer.

    If you encounter resistance, know that this person is not a police officer to the reasonable man. They have shown you a badge without allowing inspection (It could be a security badge, or one of those CCW badges, or a fake PD badge), and are refusing to properly identify themselves. Summon law enforcement immediately, and take steps to protect yourself from this person if they become physical.

    When I flew cross-country in October, 2001, I carried my company crediential case on me. Throughout the process, in multiple airports, of getting from point A to point B, screeners thought I was a law enforcement officer, merely because I placed my credential case with badge in the bin for X-Ray. They did not stop to look. Don't be like them.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  • #2
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Most security officers/guards feel a need to blindly acquiesce to any person who displays an official looking law enforcement badge. Some do it because they were taught, "Obey the police," some do it out of fear of arrest, others do it because they feel that the police automatically do a better job than the security officer can.

    Several times, I have had persons flashing a badge at me, while attempting to interfere in whatever lawful activity I was undertaking. This usually was due to their view that "security shouldn't accost people," or because the person that was being removed/detained/questioned was an acquientance.

    It is imperative that you, as an armed professional, never let your guard down because someone flashes a badge at you. If the holder of that badge is invoking offiical authority, they should be prepared for that authority to be verified. Ask to see not only the badge, but also the photo identification that goes along with it.

    I do not know of a law enforcement agency that does not issue photo identification to all sworn employees. Just as, in most cases, your state requires you to have an identification card showing you are an employee of your company, so must the police officer.

    If you encounter resistance, know that this person is not a police officer to the reasonable man. They have shown you a badge without allowing inspection (It could be a security badge, or one of those CCW badges, or a fake PD badge), and are refusing to properly identify themselves. Summon law enforcement immediately, and take steps to protect yourself from this person if they become physical.

    When I flew cross-country in October, 2001, I carried my company crediential case on me. Throughout the process, in multiple airports, of getting from point A to point B, screeners thought I was a law enforcement officer, merely because I placed my credential case with badge in the bin for X-Ray. They did not stop to look. Don't be like them.
    This has happened to me on many occasions. Though a lot of LEO?s are use to us now we still get the occasional uniform that checks us out which is fine with me. With new accounts we always end up getting pulled over now and then or get rolled up on. But we do get off duty or plain clothes officers of various agencies at times. Most of them do show ID with their badges. A few have done the Miami vice flash routine and I have challenged them as they did so. I have had only one incident to where I called the sheriff office on a city police officer who refused to show me ID because he ?didn?t have time to deal with some guard?. Though my instinct told me he was the real deal I still made sure that small part of doubt was covered. A uniform showed up and verified he was legit about the same time the county got there. But the SO where fully supportive of my actions and told the officer that professional courtesy tends to go beyond just the police. Give that deputy a raise and a cigar! The officer did apologize and all was water under the bridge. I never gave it much thought after that. Until it happens again of course. As for these CCW badges, who in the world thought that up? Next thing you know they will have badges for people that carry a can of snuff.

    PS: Yes, always a good thing to post about, a good article indeed.
    Last edited by Echos13; 11-21-2005, 01:57 PM.
    My views, opinions and statements are my own. They are not of my company, affiliates or coworkers.

    -Being bagger at Publix has more respect these days

    -It's just a job kid deal with it

    -The industry needs to do one of two things; stop fiddling with the thin line and go forward or go back to that way it was. A flashlight in one hand and your set of keys in the other

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    • #3
      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      .........If the holder of that badge is invoking offiical authority, they should be prepared for that authority to be verified. Ask to see not only the badge, but also the photo identification that goes along with it.

      I do not know of a law enforcement agency that does not issue photo identification to all sworn employees. Just as, in most cases, your state requires you to have an identification card showing you are an employee of your company, so must the police officer........
      Good Post, N. A. Corbier, especially the part as quoted above.

      Metal badges are now mainly for decorative purposes, the most important means of identification is the ID Card, showing all the relevant details, including a photo of the holder.

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      • #4
        I do not know of a law enforcement agency that does not issue photo identification to all sworn employees. Just as, in most cases, your state requires you to have an identification card showing you are an employee of your company, so must the police officer.
        Some Class II police officers(fully sworn and full police powers while on duty) in jersey are not issued ids and only badges but i am pretty sure that is the excepetion to the rule

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SEOHopeful1
          Some Class II police officers(fully sworn and full police powers while on duty) in jersey are not issued ids and only badges but i am pretty sure that is the excepetion to the rule
          I would hope they are an exception to the rule, as well. Are they, generally speaking, tasked to perform duties out of uniform? As you said, "fully sworn and full police powers while on duty." I would think that they would not be so quick to flash tin while off duty, and if they did, they would understand the level of concern that a member of the public would have if they could not produce ID to substantiate the badge's authority.
          Some Kind of Commando Leader

          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
            I do not know of a law enforcement agency that does not issue photo identification to all sworn employees. Just as, in most cases, your state requires you to have an identification card showing you are an employee of your company, so must the police officer.
            I agree. In fact, ask for it ANYTIME someone in plain clothes who claims to be a LEO approaches you. Of course, it probably wouldn't be very difficult to make a false ID with computer technology. But the extra step can't hurt.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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            • #7
              That is why I always recommend security professionals carry a pocket-sized memo pad and pencil or pen, IDs as Mr. Security correctly points out can and are easily made. It is the number as well as the picture on the ID that really matter. At airports, they sometimes noted my ID number. When phoned in, it came back as me. I know of two instances where the ID number was registered to a female agent and the photos were of males. Needless to say, those gentlemen were rolled-up and face serious federal charges and will do time for their "mistakes."
              Ordinary folks, who lack the training we've all had, do not carry pads or pencils or pens and at the time of the stop, flustered as they may become, do not ask for a close look at the ID for later recall. Signs of the time.
              Enjoy the day,
              Bill

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