Indiana State Excise Police officers arrested a Lowell man earlier today after an investigation into police impersonation at a local bar.
Excise officers arrested Ray K. Thompson, 51, of Lowell, Ind., on a felony warrant charging him with impersonating a police officer after he went to Cliffhangers Bar, 151 Deanna Drive, on Dec. 8 and told the bartender and a patron that he was an excise officer. The bar’s owner became suspicious when she learned that Thompson had told the bartender that he was recording their conversation and then proceeded to ask questions about the bar’s camera system and security on the weekends.
A few minutes before noon, excise officers arrested Thompson at his place of employment. At the same time, other excise officers served a search warrant at his residence. Officers recovered several undisclosed items at his residence and from his Ford truck.
The Lowell Police Department assisted excise officers during their investigation.
Excise officers always carry a department-issued badge, along with their credentials, which have the officer’s name, badge number and photograph. Excise officers work either in plain clothes or uniform, depending on the nature of their assignments during a particular shift. Anyone concerned about whether someone is a police officer can request to see the officer’s badge and credentials, or contact local law enforcement.
Today’s arrest follows another case in March 2013, when excise officers arrested a Muncie man for impersonating a police officer outside a bar.
“Impersonating a police officer is an intolerable offense for which we will have zero tolerance,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “Such behavior is not only dangerous to the perpetrator, but can put other citizens at risk.”
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.