If you want to see trends in criminal activity, as this article points out, South Florida is a good place to look. One suspects that it is the melting pot aspect of having the gangsters of so many different ethnic groups mingling together that drives this innovation.
Don Van Natta, Jr., New York Times, 29 May 2011, via the Daily Comet.
As long as police officers have worn uniforms and carried badges, criminals have dressed like them to try to win the trust of potential victims. Now the impersonators are far more sophisticated, according to nearly a dozen city police chiefs and detectives across the country.
In South Florida, seemingly an incubator of law-breaking innovation, police impersonators have become better organized and, most troubling to law enforcement officials, more violent. The practice is so common that the Miami-Dade Police Department has a Police Impersonator Unit.
Since the unit was established in 2007, it has arrested or had encounters with more than 80 phony officers in Miami-Dade County, and the frequency has increased in recent months, said Lt. Daniel Villanueva, who heads the unit.
The point to the police officer scam is that it is much easier to kidnap or otherwise subdue victims. That it has been used in a number of rapes, and home invasions is not an accident.
Recent court decisions by some of the States Supreme Courts that give a homeowner no right to defend their homes against illegal police entry make this trend even more worrisome.
Of course, if the authorities were so concerned about the status of their law enforcement personnel, they could probably stop having them balance their budget by writing speeding tickets.