Butler Univ. issues alert about a person pretending to be an officer

Colleges and UniversitiesButler UniversitySciencePoliticsInterior PolicyPersonal Data Collection

Butler University officials have issued a notice to students and staff about a person pretending to be a police officer.

Butler Assistant Chief of Police Operations Bill Weber said on Tuesday, Sept. 11, a student was walking between Jordan Hall and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, when she was stopped by a man.  This happened around 10 p.m.

"And (he) said, 'Hey, I'm a police officer.  I need to give you a breathalyzer test'.  (It) caught her off guard.  She did provide a breath sample and then this fellow told her, 'Okay you can go ahead and leave,'" Weber said.

Weber said the student told them the man showed her what looked like a badge.  He was described as wearing blue plaid button-down dress shirt, which was not tucked in, over a white T-shirt and dark jeans. 

"She didn't get a good look at it (the badge).  It was just flipped out and put back into a wallet," Weber said.

Weber said  the student reported what happened Tuesday, Sept. 18, and within 24 hours they issued what is called a 'Crime Watch Alert.’ 

"If people are just coming up to you saying that they're a cop that kind of scares you because, I mean, you are going to do what the cop tells you to do," Butler University student Alex Moore said.

"It's strange, weird because it falls under that category (that) it's not part of the normal day,” said Mit Patel, Butler University student.

Weber stressed this is not how it works.  He said no one from their department or from Indiana Excise Police would act in that way.  At this time it is unclear who was behind this or what agency the person claims to be associated with. 

"It's disturbing someone would consider doing this and I'm not at all happy this happened," Weber said.  "Never hesitate to call university police. We will be more than happy to come, if they are uncomfortable, (and) if something doesn't seem right.”

Weber said they are working with Indiana Excise Police, which also stated an officer would need to have probable cause in order to stop someone.  Both agencies said if someone is stopped by a person who is in regular clothing, you can ask to see their photo identification.  If you are ever in doubt, it is not unreasonable to request that person to call another officer, who may be in uniform, to come out there in order to verify who you are speaking with.

If you have any information about this case, contact the Butler University Police Department or Indiana Excise Police.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times