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After further review, fake cop was real!

It seems the fake police officer who stopped a Roberts woman on Crest View Drive on March 27 was a real cop - from the Hudson Police Department - after all.

According to records at both the Hudson Police Department and the 911 dispatch office and from the officer himself, Emily Dunn, 23, was pulled over on a traffic stop around 2:30 that morning. Just as the woman indicated in her initial report, the officer did take her license and run a check of her registration, and there was a woman in his squad car, a part-time officer who was riding with him that morning. But unlike Dunn's recollection of events that night, the officer said he clearly identified himself by his full name.

According to the initial report, the woman became suspicious of the officer and the stop when he informed her that the plate name on her car did not match her registration in Madison. The woman called the DMV on Monday to check and was told there was no problem with her registration. That's when she called HPD to report the incident.

According to Sgt. Ed Rankin who investigated the initial report, the mistake was the result of a series of miscommunications. When he first checked with 911 dispatch after receiving the call from Dunn, the dispatcher he spoke with found no record of the traffic stop or of a corresponding registration check. The stop also did not show up on records in the police department at the time Dunn made her first report.

However, later in the week, the stop did appear on the account of police activity that weekend. Rankin said the time and place reported by the officer matched Dunn's report. He then checked with 911 dispatch which this time found the call. The problem with the registration arose because the officer misspelled the vanity plate when he ran his check and as a result the information did not match Dunn's vehicle.

Rankin said in the meantime his office was notified of no fewer than seven reports of suspected fake police stops throughout the metro area. "This just wasn't one of them."

Rankin said he notified Dunn of the mistake. She was surprised but Rankin said eyewitness information can often be inaccurate or misleading for a variety of reasons including darkness on the road that time of night and nervousness at being pulled over.

"But I'm glad she called us. It was worth checking into. It was just a case of a miscommunication."

Meg Heaton can be reached at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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