They have uniforms, carry badges, and are reportedly armed. They respond to calls, write reports, and even “assist” officers with their investigations. The fake cop squad goes by the name, Genesee County Fire and EMS Media-Genesee County Task Force Blight Agency, and they have been patrolling since 2015.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said, “they responded to some 911 calls where they were actually the first alleged police officers on scene, and real police when they showed up asked them to assist, asked them to submit reports.”
Genesee County Park Ranger Chief Kevin Shanlian told WNEM, “the fake officers worked every day of the week, dressed like police, carried cuffs, wrote reports, and had a chief and deputy chief. I’m not 100 percent sure what their motivation was. I know they were getting together in the beginning as a community watch group, but that obviously got out of hand”
This group is finally being exposed following an incident about “rude” park rangers. The Flint Journal reports that Shanlian received a complaint about the rude park rangers. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the rangers weren’t rangers at all.
The Ledger-Enquirer reports:
“Now officials have charged three people in connection with the case. Two were arraigned on three counts of unlawful imprisonment and one count of impersonating a peace officer to commit a crime, and a third person was being extradited back to the county, according to the Flint Journal. Others were listed as co-defendants in the case but were not yet charged, according to the paper.”
Since the news broke, Shanlian has been reaching out to the community hoping to find others abused by the fake cops.
“I believe there’s probably hundreds of victims who were actually detained and didn’t have good experiences with these folks,” Shanlian said.
“I mean, I don’t know what’s in these individuals heads. I don’t know if they think they’re playing games. This is not a game. Law enforcement is serious business,” Leyton told WJRT. “We believe they’ve done this to other people. We’re asking people to come forward if, in fact, they believe they’ve been victimized by people they don’t believe are real police officers.”
Conveniently, neither Shanlian or Leyton offered up an explanation for the real police’s involvement with the ragtag bunch of cop actors.