INDIANAPOLIS — A Fishers man who runs a local traffic control business is facing a felony charge of impersonating police.
The investigation started on Shadeland Avenue in September when police believe the suspect pulled his vehicle behind an unmarked IMPD officer and activated what appeared to be emergency lights to get the officer to pull over.
Police shared pictures of the encounter that followed that incident. The video allegedly shows Jonathan Becker wearing a green safety vest and radio while leaning up against his SUV.
The SUV was equipped with overhead light and a front push bar, along with a mounted computer and radar gun inside.
Court records show criminal charges were filed against Becker for that incident.
Police believe that the incident reflected a pattern of concerning actions by Becker.
IMPD claims the suspect, who runs a company called Indiana Traffic Operations, drives around in vehicles marked traffic control and uses emergency lights to enforce traffic laws on public roads.
“It’s important for members of our community to understand the difference between a police officer and a security guard,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
Police shared side-by-side pictures of the suspect’s car — pictured on the right — and a real Indiana State Police squad car, which shares the same license plate number.
In another side-by-side, the suspect’s SUV is on the right, which also shares the same plate number as a legitimate state trooper, pictured on the left.
“The concern is these cars look like police cars,” said Foley.
Court records also claim in May of this year, Becker showed up to a crash on the interstate in Hamilton County where he began blocking traffic and picking up debris.
Multiple emergency workers at that scene thought Becker was a legitimate state trooper.
Last summer, police said the suspect’s car was even spotted in the official funeral procession for fallen Elwood officer Noah Shahnavaz.
Police said they take these cases seriously because people impersonating police officers hurts the credibility of real officers.
“If someone wants to be the police, we’re hiring. I don’t know why someone would want to emulate police when you can actually be the police,” said Foley.
In addition to this case, Becker pleaded guilty and was placed on probation earlier this year for the unlawful display of emergency lights in Hancock County.
Formal charges were filed on Tuesday in Marion County.
The suspect remains in jail on a 7 day hold after which he will be eligible for a small cash bond.