"They can fool the public," said Autauga County Sheriff Herbie Johnson.
In a news conference today Prattville chief Mark Thompson and Johnson showed WSFA 12 News two badges. One is legitimate, shaped like a star and worn by county deputies. The other looks similar but a lighter-weight badge attached to a leather flap. This badge was taken from the last suspect arrested at Target. The suspect wore it around his neck.
"We don't know where it came from but we're working on that," said Johnson.
The sheriff and chief say they don't know why the area is suddenly seeing a rash of police impersonators in a short amount of time but what is clear to law enforcement this behavior is no badge of honor.
"Every 54 hours a police officer is killed somewhere in the United States. Impersonating an officer is not a joke," said Thompson.
As a matter of policy both departments don't hand out badges. The veteran lawmen say the three cases are not connected.
As for Katie Elam she's now on guard should another impersonator strike again.