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Her uniform appeared authentic, navy and starched and ironed crisp. The badge on her left breast was authentic, too, made with steel and etched with a three- or four-digit number. The clipped name tag on her right breast displayed a last name, same authentic font. Only the patches on her shoulder ruined the secret: Kimberly Chapman was an actor, not a real police officer.

Ms. Chapman, 47, of Wilkinsburg, was arrested by real police officers Monday, charged with impersonating a public servant and theft.

Police say Ms. Chapman, dressed as a police officer, appeared at her son's Allegheny County Family Court hearing at 9 a.m. on Monday and told the tipstaff she was an officer assigned to his case.

Her son was facing gun charges.

According to a police report, Ms. Chapman, who was detained in Judge Edward J. Borkowski's courtroom, told Tipstaff William Miller she was an officer "on the Christian Edwards case and I'm looking for the probation officer."

But when police officers questioned Ms. Chapman, she told them she was an extra in the Spike TV series, "The Kill Point," being filmed in Market Square.

A production assistant for the series, Katie Shenot, verified that Ms. Chapman worked on the set and told officers Ms. Chapman did not have permission to leave while wearing the $500 uniform. The uniform was taken into evidence, including the badge, duty belts and plastic gun holster.

On Monday morning, minutes after arriving at work, Ms. Chapman remembered her son's appointment to appear in juvenile court, her attorney said. She hustled to be there, never stopping to return her officer's uniform, a close replication of those worn by legitimate city officers.

Never, according to attorney James Ecker, did Ms. Chapman identify herself as an officer. But before she left court, she'd been arrested.

Since filming began Downtown, those on the set have noticed confusion between the real officers and their paid impersonators. Acting officers there, defenders against a faux bank robbery, wear patches saying, "Police Department." The real officers, who attend to the perimeter of the filming area, have patches saying Pittsburgh Police. One other giveaway: the actors carry cap guns or foam guns, not legitimate weapons.

"Anybody can just walk off the set and get away with it," said Jeremiah Barry, of Clairton, an extra dressed as an officer. Because at first glance, I'd say, yeah, you look like a real cop. Most people don't stare at cops, they just glance, give it a quick look.

"Nine out of 10 people, I'd say, would see the uniform and say, 'Real cop.' "

To avoid any confusion within the filming set, extras are discouraged from ending the workday in costume and leaving the area. They can't collect their paycheck for the day's work without first returning to a meeting point at PPG Place, handing in their uniforms and collecting their voucher. Extras given props begin their days, also, by leaving ID -- which is held as collateral until the props and uniforms are returned.


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