The Suburbanite
  • Springfield Twp. man accused of impersonating an officer

  • Summit Co. sheriff’s deputies arrested a man they say was impersonating a police officer.

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  • Summit County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man they said falsely claimed to be one of their own.
    Deputies said he also claimed to be a retired Canton police officer.
    The suspect, Sean Duffy, 48, of Springfield Township, denies that he tried to pass himself off as a police officer for any agency and said he doesn’t understand why he’s facing a criminal charge.
    Inspector Bill Holland with the Summit County Sheriff’s office said Duffy was arrested Monday and charged with impersonating a police officer. The charge is a fourth-degree misdemeanor that can bring up to 30 days in jail with a conviction.
    Duffy was booked into the Summit County jail and later released pending a court hearing.
    The investigation showed Duffy has no formal police training and has never been employed as a law enforcement officer in Ohio, Holland said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
    Duffy had numerous items used by law enforcement and he had been stopped multiple times last week. One of those times, he identified himself as a retired Summit deputy and another time, a retired Canton officer, Holland said.
    On March 11, an auto mechanic reported that Duffy asked for police lights to be installed on his car — a white, Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor with K9 stickers on the rear and both sides of the vehicle.
    “The mechanic described the contents of the vehicle as a bag labeled ‘police,’ handcuffs and a police baton. The driver was wearing a vest that said ‘police’ and he had a badge on his belt. He told the mechanic he was a police officer,” Holland said in the release.
    On March 15, the vehicle was seen in the Giant Eagle supermarket parking lot in Green.
    “The inside of the vehicle contained emergency flashing lights, an emergency siren, dash camera and what appeared to be police radios,” Holland said. “The license plates on the vehicle were expired. Area shoppers were concerned that the subject may have been impersonating a police officer.”
    Holland asked anyone with information about the incidents or whether Duffy has portrayed himself to others as a police officer to call the sheriff’s department at 330-643-2147.
    Reached later Wednesday, Duffy denied the allegation that he was impersonating an officer.
    He said the car and other items are related to his work in auto repossession, security and police dog training.  He declined to provide the name of those businesses, saying he didn’t want the publicity about his arrest to impact them.
    “I was going about my own business, doing my own thing .. not impersonating anything,” he said.
    “Everything we do is perfectly legal according to the Ohio Revised Code.”
    Page 2 of 2 - He said he formerly worked for metro housing authorities in Canton and Akron. He has hired a lawyer and is looking ahead to clearing his name through the court system.
    “I don’t know why they are making such a big deal out of this.”
    Repository Local News Editor Dave Sereno contributed to this report.
    Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.monsewicz@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @lmonsewiczREP