Authorities Respond To Action News Report - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Authorities Respond To Action News Report

CLEVELAND – The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department saw The Investigator's investigation into the sale of authentic police badges to regular people and has responded quickly.

The sheriff himself, Gerald McFaul, fired off a two-page letter to Columbus, saying that he wants only law enforcement officers to wear authentic badges.

McFaul reacted to the Action News hidden-camera investigation by sending a letter and other materials to a statewide sheriff's organization.

"We sent the tape from your story," he told Tom Meyer, The Investigator.

When it receives the tape, the law enforcement group will see how anyone, including criminals, could buy authentic police badges legally as long as the color of their money is green. The organization has the political muscle to get the law changed.

"People caught that story on TV and people couldn't believe it," McFaul said. "They said, 'Wait a minute. Are you saying that I as Joe Citizen can go and buy a badge and pretend to be the sheriff or pretend to be a policeman.' I said absolutely."

If the sheriff gets his way, police badges will no longer be allowed to be sold to just anyone.

McFaul is asking every sheriff in Ohio to lobby state legislators for a new law involving badges. The sheriff is concerned that Action News producers were able to gain access to a stranger's home by merely flashing a badge.

The man responsible for the sale of many of the badges -- a former Cleveland policeman -- said that it's legal and that some people like to collect them. The sheriff reacted by asking, "Why don't you collect baseball cards instead."

Powered by Frankly