SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A campus-wide alert warning students and staff to be aware of suspected police imposters was inadvertently sparked by a local detective and a federal agent, according to authorities.
Sacramento State students have been on edge since a female reported that two suspicious men on campus had identified themselves as law enforcement and asked her to follow them to a parking lot, but since they weren’t in uniform, the woman fled.
Campus officers had no idea that the two men were a Sacramento County Sheriff’s detective and an FBI agent. Officials sent out an alert to the entire campus, urging caution and reminding students that the university doesn’t employ plainclothes officers.
With recent reports of crime on campus, the woman’s caution was “appropriate,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s spokesman Jason Ramos.
The FBI doesn’t typically notify local law enforcement of investigations in their area, but Ramos said the Sheriff’s Department tries to give other agencies notice.
“To a certain extent, the ball was dropped,” he said.
Students on campus said they were relieved to hear that the report was a false alarm, but said school officials should have notified them of the rescinded warning.
Sacramento State officials said students should always ask for an official badge if they are stopped by an officer.