Police impersonators: the Force will never be with you

When I read of impersonator Vincent Richardson’s firm belief that because he had been a police Explorer he was well-trained enough to “hit the streets as a full-fledged cop” (“Police: man impersonated officer again,” Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2015), I laughed out loud. What hubris! I doubt this foolish man knows the meaning of that word.

He and his co-offender said they were collecting rent (dressed as if undercover officers) because it’s easier that way. Rather than developing people skills or having to learn the proper legal maneuvers against non-paying tenants, thugs generally do find intimidation easier. He claimed his BB gun was because he claimed to be a security guard. He must take people for idiots, because we know a real security guard has a baton, or an actual firearm, never a BB gun.

Richardson apparently doesn’t care to remember from Explorers that a necessary skill – perhaps the primary requirement – in law enforcement is patience.

A recruit’s training stretches over many months, the probationary period more than a year. No one shortened it for me because I had been a Girl Scout, and no one will shorten it because Richardson or any other young adult was an Explorer. At least the Girl Scout Laws continue to inform my actions (example: Scouts are to be helpful, courageous, strong, honest, and respectful of authority – all of which are also qualities crucial in law enforcement), while Richardson not only clearly lacks the attributes of a good Scout, he has likewise cast away whatever the Explorers taught him.

Richardson not only tried several times to pass himself off as a cop, he duped a car dealer into letting him take out a nice ride. Clearly he is driven by thoughts of what exciting things he might get away with, who else he can play for a sap, what can he obtain by whatever means he alone deems necessary.

We cops will remember your name and mugshot, Vincent. If by some miracle a police department did accept you after all this, no beat cop, no tact team, no white shirt will ever trust you. But I think you would welcome working alone anywhere, the better to scam more citizens like that Lexus dealer, away from the prying eyes and long arm of the law.

You are in too big a hurry for everything you think you’re entitled to. Go away quietly, grow up, and accept your destiny, which is this: the force will never be with you.


About majaramirez

former assistant instructor in tai chi chu'an; current TreeKeeper (#467); former Master Gardener; member of American Bird Conservancy, Audubon, Fraternal Order of Police, and Mensa; recently retired career cop; wife and mom.
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