DULUTH, MN– When you suddenly see flashing lights behind you while driving, it’s normal to automatically think you’re getting pulled over by a cop.
But there’s a warning from police after someone in Duluth reported being pulled over by someone pretending to be in law enforcement.
That scary traffic stop happened a few weeks ago in Duluth.
A woman claims she was pulled over on Trinity Road between Arlington Avenue and Piedmont Avenue.
She says the man who approached her car claimed to be campus security at Lake Superior College.
Duluth police reached out to Lake Superior College officials who said the officer is not with the college. Officials from LSC say that campus security doesn’t have the authority to pull anyone over outside of campus.
We spoke with a member of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office who says there are some ways to identify a police officer to determine if they are legitimate.
The first thing to do is check if someone approaching your car has on a full uniform.
Municipal police uniforms are typically colored in blue or black, while uniforms worn by sheriff’s deputies are more often green, brown, or khaki.
Another thing you can always do is ask to see an officer’s badge or ID card.
And if you’re feeling unsure or unsafe you can call 911 and the dispatcher will be able to confirm if the officer is legitimate.
Sgt. Brandon Silgjord with the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office says, “If they’re on the stop, obviously be polite be courteous and relay that you’re concerned this isn’ an official traffic stop and dial 911.”
Officials say it all comes down to making sure you stay safe.
“If you’re at that point where this just does not seem right go ahead, find that well-lit area, populated area to pull over in,” says Sgt. Silgjord.
The Sergeant says cases like this are extremely rare and you should always assume you’re being pulled over by a police officer until you are given a reason to doubt that’s the case.
Duluth Police say they haven’t received any other reports like that one.
For more information on the man in question click here.