Something seemed amiss to police officers in Oak Harbor, Wash., who responded to an Aug. 6 call about an altercation in which a fellow officer required assistance. When they arrived on the scene, they found a man and woman who had been fighting and 69-year-old Jim Bailey, the supposed retired officer who had intervened in the quarrel, Q13 Fox reports. Officials suspicious of Bailey's story started investigating and found out not only was Bailey not a police officer, but he may have successfully pretended to be one since 1991. Bailey, a funeral home worker, was arrested—while wearing an Oak Harbor PD shirt, no less, KOMO News reports. What police found during their extensive search points to a prolonged history of impersonation.
Oak Harbor authorities turned up "numerous items" in his car and home that indicated his double life, and they suspect he has received cash for training and lectures he gave while posing as a retired cop, KIRO TV reports. Bailey was an Oak Harbor reserve officer for a few years in the '80s, but he left to attend the police academy and never graduated. "He only lasted two to three weeks at the police academy, he did not succeed there," notes the Oak Harbor chief of police. Q13 Fox reports that impersonating an officer can be treated as either a misdemeanor or felony; the local prosecutor will make the call. (This police impersonator picked an odd time to pull someone over for speeding.)