Former Police Officer Arrested For Impersonating An Officer

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee October 6, 2011

A former Neah Bay, WA police officer was arrested near the edge of Capitol Hill Tuesday morning after Seattle police found the man in full cop uniform, with a gun on his hip, directing traffic near a construction site.

Police records say a former co-worker of the 45-year-old man called SPD and reported the man was doing traffic control at 19th Ave. and E. Madison St, even though is is not a "currently commissioned" officer in Washington. Records say the man who called police employed the 45-year-old man in Neah Bay—on the northwestern tip of the state—until September 23, 2011.

When police arrived on scene, they found the 45-year-old man wearing a K9 officer's uniform, a yellow vest with "police" printed on the front and back, Neah Bay Police Department patches, and a belt with a loaded .45 handgun, extra magazines and ammunition, handcuffs, a flashlight, and pocket knife.

The 45-year-old man—who PubliCola is not identifying as he has not yet been charged with a crime—introduced himself to the SPD officer as a "reserve police officer from Neah Bay," the report says, and presented his badge.

The man told an SPD officer he was working under contract with a construction company, as part of his security business which, according to the company's website, provides "physical security for clients, their families and assets by using seasoned active duty City, County, State, and Federal officers."

We're trying checking with the construction company to see what they say about the alleged traffic control assignment.

Police records say an SPD sergeant called the Neah Bay Police Department and spoke with their chief who told the sergeant the 45-year-old man "does not work for Neah Bay Police anymore, and that he was supposed to turn in his badge, and all Neah Bay Police equipment."

Police arrested the 45-year-old man and booked him into the King County Jail for impersonating an officer. He has not yet been charged.

When contacted Thursday afternoon, a spokesman for the Neah Bay Police police refused to confirm whether the 45-year-old man is currently employed by the department.
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