Officers hit the runway to educate public

In an effort to educate the public about scams involving impersonators, People's United Bank co-sponsored a Uniform Fashion Show at the Westfield Trumbull Shopping Mall on Wednesday, November 6. The event was held in collaboration with Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford and Trumbull Police Departments; Westfield Trumbull; and Comfort Keepers.

"Every day residents in our community have visitors at their doors for a variety of legitimate reasons, but unfortunately there are those who look to exploit those visits by dressing like municipal and private sector workers,” said Chief Gary McNamara of the Fairfield Police Department.

The Uniform Fashion Show featured uniformed workers who walked the catwalk and spoke about the identifying features of their uniform, the type of identification they carry, and whether or not they would show up to a resident's home unannounced. Models included 25 workers from local companies such as United Illuminating, Aquarion Water Co., AT&T, Cablevision, and Federal Express, Standard Oil, UPS, Protective Services, Comfort Keepers, and Professional Security Consultant. Officers, lieutenants, chiefs and captains from the Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford and Trumbull police and fire departments also participated.

One purchase on the Internet can arm a scam artist with a realistic company uniform, accessories and identification badges, and all too often residents open their doors to these predators in disguise. “This event provided an opportunity for people to see what real uniforms and identifications look like and gave them a better understanding of what to do if they are not expecting a visit,” Chief McNamara explained. “It starts by not opening the door and calling 911."