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(a) For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(1) “Impersonate.” To act the part of, assume the identity of, wear the uniform or any part of the uniform of, or display the identification of a particular person or of a member of a class of persons with purpose to make another person believe that the actor is that particular person or is a member of that class of persons.
(2) “Peace officer.” A sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation, or township constable, who is employed by a political subdivision of this State, a member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under Ohio R.C. 3735.31(D), a member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under Ohio R.C. 306.35(Y), a State university law enforcement officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 3345.04, a veterans' home police officer appointed under Ohio R.C. 5907.02, a special police officer employed by a port authority under Ohio R.C. 4582.04 or 4582.28, or a State highway patrol trooper and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property, and to enforce the laws, ordinances, or rules of the State or any of its political subdivisions.
(3) “Private police officer.” Any security guard, special police officer, private detective, or other person who is privately employed in a police capacity.
(b) No person shall impersonate a peace officer or a private police officer.
(c) No person, by impersonating a peace officer or a private police officer, shall arrest or detain any person, search any person, or search the property of any person.
(d) No person, with purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of an offense, shall impersonate a peace officer, a private police officer, or an officer, agent or employee of the Municipality or the State.
(e) No person shall commit a felony while impersonating a peace officer, a private police officer, or an officer, agent or employee of the Municipality or of the State.
(f) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under division (b) of this section that the impersonation of the peace officer was for a lawful purpose.
(g) Whoever violates division (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. Whoever violates division (c) or (d) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the purpose of a violation of division (d) of this section is to commit or facilitate the commission of a felony, a violation of division (d) is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate State law. Whoever violates division (e) of this section is guilty of a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate State law.