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VA Fire Marshall Authorized to Make Traffic Stop

Posted on Apr 11, 2012
In January of this year, Ricky McCleod initiated a traffic stop on Agnes Cox after observing the driver swerving.  McCleod was a Portsmouth fire marshal inspector and was driving his county vehicle, equipped with blue lights.  McCleod told Cox she was free to leave after asking her questions.  Suffolk Detective William Shockley was driving by at the time and radioed into dispatch to inquire about the unmarked car driven by McCleod.  An investigation was initiated.  Suffolk police felt McCleod should be prosecuted for impersonating an officer.  Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson ruled that McCleod did nothing wrong: “If he had been an ordinary citizen, he could have done the same thing.”  Police, however, stated that he “acted outside his abilities as a fire marshal inspector” and “does not have the authority to operate a vehicle equipped with blue lights.”

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