DE SOTO, Mo. ( – De Soto police confirm they’ve identified the man seen on surveillance cameras at a Walmart store wearing a shirt that said POLICE on the back.

Police previously asked for the public’s help identifying the man because he wasn’t a current officer and it wasn’t clear what his intentions were.

“We’re just appealing to the public to see if anybody knows who the guy is and we can find out what he’s up to,” said Police Chief Jeff McCreary.

According to McCreary, the man was seen shopping at Walmart in the 12800 block of Highway 21 last Thursday. McCreary said an off-duty police dispatcher was in the store at the time and didn’t recognize the man or the shirt he was wearing.

De Soto police officer

The De Soto Police Department has released several surveillance photos of a police impersonator and is asking for the public’s help identifying the man.

Thursday, News 4 spoke with Dale Phillips who identified himself as the man in the photo. Police have confirmed his identity. Phillips said he worked for the De Soto police department for a year and was given the shirt to wear in 2004. The shirt has a badge and says De Soto Police Department on the front.

Phillips said he grabbed the shirt from his closet to wear while working on his car. He said he was still wearing the shirt when he made a quick run to Walmart to buy a few things he needed. He also confirmed that he was wearing a concealed firearm at the time but said the firearm police thought he was wearing on his side was actually a cellphone in a holder.

The police department indicated it had no plans to pursue charges against Phillips but that he shouldn’t have been wearing the shirt in public, giving the impression he was currently a police officer.

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