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  • Security Guard Impersonated Officer, Police Say

    Sad story.................. im not sure about this but sounds, like thers more to the story then being told..


    Security Guard Impersonated Officer, Police Say
    Skip directly to the full story.
    By VALERIE KALFRIN The Tampa Tribune

    Published: Jul 28, 2007

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    TAMPA - Throughout their marriage, Nereida Ortiz said, her estranged husband was fascinated with law enforcement.

    Joseph Ramos worked as a security guard, but he would answer the phone as "Officer Ramos," she said.

    "He would use his badge for every little thing," said Ortiz, of Valrico. "I've been telling everybody, he wants to be the law."

    Tampa police delivered a clear message that he's not the law when they arrested Ramos, 43, on a felony charge of impersonating an officer. The arrest Friday came after officers found police paraphernalia in Ramos' possession during a traffic stop.

    Because Ramos was carrying a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his Toyota Camry, police added a charge of violating a court order prohibiting him from carrying firearms. The injunction was issued in 2005 in connection with a domestic violence matter involving Ortiz and her children.

    Ramos, of 7405 Sherren Drive, was held without bail Friday at the Orient Road Jail. He was not near Ortiz or her children at the time of his arrest. The injunction orders him to stay 500 feet away, Ortiz said.

    Ramos' employer, Michael Gari of Gari Security Services in Tampa, said he will fire Ramos for violating the injunction.

    Gari, however, called the impersonation charge "ridiculous."

    "It upsets me," he said. Most of the items that police found suspicious can be explained through Ramos' job, Gari said.

    Tampa police Officer Stephen Hiles pulled over Ramos' Toyota Camry on West Columbus Avenue about 12:50 p.m. Friday because the car's tinted windows were darker than the law allows.

    As Ramos pulled over, he activated strobe parking lights and white strobe lights on his dashboard, then stepped out of the car wearing his dark-blue security guard uniform, police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said.

    After Hiles told him to get back into the car, Ramos began reaching for a gun on the front passenger seat, Davis said. Hiles drew his firearm and told him to stop, which he did.

    A search of the car found three pellet guns, all of the same weight and appearance as real firearms, Davis said. Police also found the loaded shotgun, four Tasers, a nightstick, several handcuff keys, an orientation book for neighborhood watch members containing police department contact numbers, a booklet of Tampa police trespass warnings and a 16-ounce can of pepper spray, which is larger than permitted by law, she said.

    Gari said Ramos, who has worked for him more than a year, has been trained and certified to carry nonlethal weapons such as the nightstick, pellet guns and Tasers. Ramos was not working Friday, but was driving to the company office to pick up his paycheck, Gari said.

    As for the trespass warning booklet, "I have blank trespass warnings. The police department gave them to me to fill out," Gari said.

    Davis disagreed, saying if Gari does have official trespass warnings, the department wants to know how that happened.

    "We don't give those out" to anyone not employed by the police department, she said.

    "Look at everything he had," Davis said. "It's the entire package that alluded to the fact he was impersonating a police officer."

    Tribune reporter Ray Reyes contributed to this report. Reporter Valerie Kalfrin can be reached at (813) 259-7800.
    Its not how we die that counts.....
    Its not how we lived that counts....
    all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

  • #2
    He sounds like a real wannabee, but it doesn't sound like anything he had in his car would lead me to believe he was impersonating a police officer. Doesn't Florida law require him to actually try to convince someone that he is a cop before charging him? I have a feeling this will be dropped, now the weapon charge, that may very well be a different story.
    ATTN. SPECOPS AND GECKO45 my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.

    Comment


    • #3
      What I wanna' know is... why was his car decked out in strobes? don't most US Security companies have their own (supplied) vehicles? or are some employers too tight?
      "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

      Comment


      • #4
        funny thing is im not sure about your companies but with some of the companies i worked for you were required to answer the phone "officer so and so" or "rank so and so" . unless he was saying POLICE OFFICER so and so , i dont know how they will make that stick in court, after all you are a SECURITY OFFICER ;P

        but anyhow whats your opinions
        Its not how we die that counts.....
        Its not how we lived that counts....
        all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

        Comment


        • #5
          It may be just me (or force of habit ), but I've always answered an incomming phone call...

          Hello... [insert company/site etc.]... [my name]... how can I help you? so when I'm issued a company cellphone that's exactly how I answer it

          Sounds like he's a huge police fan, that perhaps shouldn't have switched on his strobes when pulled over...
          "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't people in most states, even Orwellian ones such as California, New York, Massachussetts, New Jersey, etc., only get charged with impersonating an officer if they actually approach someone pretending to be an officer? What made the arresting officer believe that he was impersonating an officer? Could it be that he was simply trying to fulfill some kind of department-mandated quota?

            Comment


            • #7
              As far as I know I always answered officer on my phone at work only,I see nothing wrong with that even if he did it at home as long as it is officer there should be no problem ,so people do get carried away with it. True some Security officers take it a little far looking like a cop or acting like one and that is where it gives us a bad rep.

              For a strobe I have a yellow light on my truck, and I do see some guys have blue or red which is in this state is unlawful to use for it is for the use for pd and fire dept only. Asking my buddy that lives in fla. he says security only uses yellow stropes so maybe he is color blind

              In Fla. you need your weapon to be in a case while carrying it ,I dont know if that goes for pellet rifle. If they look real it would of been smart for him to put it in the case.

              Comment


              • #8
                ok baton , oc spray, taser handcuffs . i guess most of the security officers in Florida and around the country are impersonating Leos if that equipment is why they arrested him. However having any color lights besides green and amber is illegal for a licensed security officer(caveat for nathan- the DOACS says that its 100% legal for licensed S/Os to display amber and green , they would not be impersonating official authority under 493). Also i don't see how he met the requirements because he didn't ask for assistance as a Leo or act as Leo during the traffic stop. I think a security officer pissed this cop off somewhere and hes getting revenge.

                Heres the impersonation statute

                843.08 Falsely personating officer, etc.--A person who falsely assumes or pretends to be a sheriff, officer of the Florida Highway Patrol, officer of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, officer of the Department of Environmental Protection, officer of the Department of Transportation, officer of the Department of Financial Services, officer of the Department of Corrections, correctional probation officer, deputy sheriff, state attorney or assistant state attorney, statewide prosecutor or assistant statewide prosecutor, state attorney investigator, coroner, police officer, lottery special agent or lottery investigator, beverage enforcement agent, or watchman, or any member of the Parole Commission and any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission, or any personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement, or a federal law enforcement officer as defined in s. 901.1505, and takes upon himself or herself to act as such, or to require any other person to aid or assist him or her in a matter pertaining to the duty of any such officer, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084; however, a person who falsely personates any such officer during the course of the commission of a felony commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084; except that if the commission of the felony results in the death or personal injury of another human being, the person commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
                Last edited by bigdog; 07-30-2007, 05:10 PM.
                "Get yourself a shovel cause your in deep Sh*t"

                Comment


                • #9
                  letter from doacs covering use of green and amber lights

                  DATE: July 2, 2007
                  TO: Class “B” Security Agencies

                  FROM: W. H. “Buddy” Bevis, Director, Division of Licensing

                  SUBJECT: New Legislation Changing Light Display Requirements on
                  Security Agency Vehicles

                  The purpose of this Important Notice is to inform you of a piece of legislation
                  passed during the 2007 legislative session that will affect the day-to-day operation
                  of your agency. Specifically, the new law will affect your decisions about how to
                  display lights on vehicles owned or leased by your agency.
                  As you are aware, for many years vehicles used by security agencies were
                  permitted to display only amber lights while on patrol. In accordance with Section
                  316.2397, Florida Statutes, all other light colors were prohibited. However, when
                  House Bill 707 becomes law, the guidelines regarding vehicle lights will change.
                  Effective July 1, 2007, vehicles owned or leased by private security agencies
                  may display a 50/50 combination of GREEN AND AMBER LIGHTS while
                  patrolling on private or public property (the new law stipulates that neither color
                  can exceed 50% of the lights displayed).

                  If you have any questions about these new regulations for lights on agency
                  vehicles, please telephone the Regional Office nearest you.
                  WHB/kw
                  [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-3.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-4.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-5.jpg[/IMG]
                  "Get yourself a shovel cause your in deep Sh*t"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tampa Police has a hard-on for security. A big one.

                    1. Strobes are legal so long as they're not red to the front or blue. Any private citizen may have amber or white warning devices, which may be activated on public roads while the vehicle is a hazard.

                    2. A firearm may be stored in your trunk, loaded, as its more than "two moves away." While the "two moves away" thing is actually fallacy, its "securely encased" in the vehicle, and is out of the occupants immediate reach. With a CCW, the thing could be strapped to the roof and fully loaded. Carrying on an injunction, however, a good way to get arrested. However... His license was probably subject to revocation for using force while being a licensee. Legal or illegal force, doesn't matter, if you use force you lose your license.

                    3. Unless they passed a law recently, the 4 ounce limit is Florida Administrative Code, and not a criminal matter. There's nothing in FSS 790 that is a limit on OC.

                    4. There is not a DAMN thing wrong with answering a phone, at work, "Officer Last Name." I used to hear crap from 60-70 year old guards who would throw fits that I dared sign into the log as required by company policy as "Cpl. N. A. Corbier #3270" or "MPO" or "OFC." Which were my proscribed ranks. "Those are police ranks, if that ever goes to court, they'll charge you." Out came the writeup forms for their writing "4 PM Security Guard Bob Dole On Duty. All quiet.," which was a violation of company policy.

                    5. I know of several companies in the Tampa Bay area that basically required employees to show up in uniform when getting checks or otherwise going to the office. I don't know why, but you had to.

                    6. Impersonation in Florida is as simple as "from a distance of 25 feet, being indistinguishable from a law enforcement officer." This is according to DOACS, the licensing agency for security in Florida. Basically. Every security guard in Florida is impersonating a law enforcement officer because the public cannot tell the difference, and in most cases, the police can't either. Guards wear uniforms, cops wear uniforms, guards must be impersonating, right?

                    A security officer with a Tampa Bay firm was arrested for "impersonating a law enforcement officer" for having a LAPD hat and a lawfully concealed weapon on. If I remember correctly, he was a member of the cadet class of the LAPD, and told the local police so. They decided it was impersonating because he wasn't "quite" yet a member of the LAPD, only in the cadet class. I'm sure Hank will have more information on that.

                    7. These "pellet guns," I'm told, were airsoft guns, which are basically the same thing as a real gun to a cop when they're seen.

                    I don't know what mental malfunction this guy has, but this is a standard attack piece on private security courtesy of the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Police Department, who would enjoy it if all those guards were locked up so they could get the delicious high paying short calls that security guards unfairly steal from 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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If I heard the story correctly, he was stopped because his window tint was too dark. After a records check, he was found to be felon. After a search of the vehicle, he had a shotgun, paintball guns, BB and pellet guns to include airsoft guns in the trunk of his vehicle. It was later determined that he was in posession of a Tampa Police badge (if I'm not mistaken). It is guys like this that make the rest of us look bad. He should be punished to the full extent of the law if found guilty.

                      Be safe,

                      Hank
                      " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Maelstrom View Post
                        What I wanna' know is... why was his car decked out in strobes? don't most US Security companies have their own (supplied) vehicles? or are some employers too tight?
                        Most companies require the guard to have their own vehicle, which they will patrol in. Marked company vehicles are only used when the client is paying, such as mobile patrol accounts. If the company isn't getting money from the client, they're not giving them a marked car.

                        I've known about 50 people who have put in warning lights in their car, and have had magnetic signs simply to keep the residents from calling the police about the "man keeps driving around, we don't know why he's here."
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hank1 View Post
                          If I heard the story correctly, he was stopped because his window tint was too dark. After a records check, he was found to be felon. After a search of the vehicle, he had a shotgun, paintball guns, BB and pellet guns to include airsoft guns in the trunk of his vehicle. It was later determined that he was in posession of a Tampa Police badge (if I'm not mistaken). It is guys like this that make the rest of us look bad. He should be punished to the full extent of the law if found guilty.

                          Be safe,

                          Hank
                          If said statements are indeed true, then ya hang the fella, but if false and was only in posession of "security equipment" yeah no problem then. I dont like guys that go around with police shirts and logos while carrying security equipment, because its a bad image of wannabe/impersonation, when i eventually get my company started (part of the reason considering a short move to new mexico) i will prohibt any of my employees from coming to and from job sites or office, with a police shirt or ball cap, so that my employees could not be stated for impesonation, its appears that if this guy did own a badge that said police on it he may have well be "flashing" people too.
                          Its not how we die that counts.....
                          Its not how we lived that counts....
                          all that matters is how we saved that one life that one time by being in the right place at the right time....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hank1 View Post
                            If I heard the story correctly, he was stopped because his window tint was too dark. After a records check, he was found to be felon. After a search of the vehicle, he had a shotgun, paintball guns, BB and pellet guns to include airsoft guns in the trunk of his vehicle. It was later determined that he was in posession of a Tampa Police badge (if I'm not mistaken). It is guys like this that make the rest of us look bad. He should be punished to the full extent of the law if found guilty.

                            Be safe,

                            Hank
                            Why does this idiot have a D if he's a felon? That's auto disqualifies someone, where's Gary Floyd or whoever his replacement is!?

                            I haven't seen anything with a TPD badge involved. If the guy had a Tampa badge, then that's full on impersonating, since mere possession is illegal under both federal (public law) and state law.

                            This guy is a mental reject, to be sure, but I take offense with the individual circumstances that the Tampa Tribune attempts to widely paint "anyone with these things is a bad person."

                            A lot of media enjoy doing that. Someone with a holster is obviously in possession of "police paraphernalia," as if its some kind of crime.
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by UtahProtectionForce View Post
                              If said statements are indeed true, then ya hang the fella, but if false and was only in posession of "security equipment" yeah no problem then. I dont like guys that go around with police shirts and logos while carrying security equipment, because its a bad image of wannabe/impersonation, when i eventually get my company started (part of the reason considering a short move to new mexico) i will prohibt any of my employees from coming to and from job sites or office, with a police shirt or ball cap, so that my employees could not be stated for impesonation, its appears that if this guy did own a badge that said police on it he may have well be "flashing" people too.
                              Wearing a police shirt is usually evidence of impersonating, is it not? It is visual identification of a law enforcement officer, which would meet most grounds for "acting as such."
                              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

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