FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 16, 2023
PUBLIC WARNED ABOUT FIRST RESPONDER IMPERSONATOR
GRAND COUNTY, CO- On Friday, January 13, 2023 at approximately 5:20 p.m. a Sergeant with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office observed a white Toyota 4Runner driving on Highway 40 near the Granby Bridge in the Town of Granby displaying flashing red and blue emergency lights. The Sergeant did not recognize this vehicle as a local emergency responder and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The Sergeant contacted the driver who was identified as 32-year-old male, Alexander Johnson. Johnson identified himself as a firefighter. The Sergeant knew based on previous knowledge that Johnson was not a firefighter and did not have the legal authority or proper permitting to be using emergency lighting. It is important to note that any volunteer requiring emergency lights needs to have specific approval of their respective agency head along with the appropriate State of Colorado documentation.
Johnson was subsequently arrested and transported to the Grand County Jail on the following charges: Impersonating a Public Servant (Class 2 Misdemeanor), Illegal Use/Possession of Emergency Red and Blue Lights, Violation of Temporary Instruction Permit, and failed to present evidence of insurance upon request.
Sheriff Brett Schroetlin emphasized, “The public puts their trust in emergency responders which often includes the usage of our emergency lights as we respond to emergency incidents. When an unauthorized person impersonates a public official, it diminishes public trust and will not be tolerated.”
Anyone with additional information on previous impersonation incidents is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division through the non-emergency phone number for Dispatch at 970-725-3311.
If anyone ever has a question regarding the validity of an emergency vehicle or public servant, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement by calling our non-emergency phone number for Dispatch or 911 in an emergency.
These charges are only accusations based on probable cause, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.