James Dale Smith, 58, of 546 Patton St., is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor, and also impersonating a public officer or employee, a felony. Smith was arrested without incident.
Smith used a strobe light system in his car to attempt to pull over the detective Tuesday about 10 p.m. while the detective was driving an unmarked vehicle, according to the Dalton Police Department.
According to the department’s press release, the incident started when the detective passed a car on Shugart Road driven by Smith, who is employed as a security officer with J.J.K. Security in Chattanooga.
According to the police, Smith told investigators he felt the detective was driving faster than he should, so he pulled in behind him and turned on the strobe light. The detective continued on and called the 911 center to request a marked DPD unit. When the detective slowed down, Smith pulled up beside the driver’s side of the detective’s car and started to nudge closer to the detective’s vehicle in an apparent attempt to force him to pull over.
At that point, Smith apparently recognized the detective who was known to him, and turned off his strobe light, the release states. The detective pulled in behind Smith at the RaceTrac gas station and turned on his own blue lights and waited for the marked unit to arrive.
Smith told an officer that he was not trying to pull over the detective.
According to the police, Smith was wearing clothing similar to what police officers wear as their training uniform — a dark polo shirt with 511-style cargo khaki pants and black boots. On his belt he wore a Glock pistol in a holster, along with a spare ammunition magazine and handcuffs in a holster. He also had his security badge on his belt.
Spokesman Bruce Frazier said Smith was not charged with carrying a concealed weapon since the pistol was in plain view.
Smith was driving a white Crown Victoria with a “Police Interceptor” icon on the back and white strobe lights mounted along with police-style radio antennas.
Smith bonded out of the Whitfield County jail Thursday morning on a $3,000 bond granted by Magistrate Judge Chris Griffin.