WARNER ROBINS — A Warner Robins man accused of impersonating a police officer was parked late Tuesday along the south side of the Ga. 247 Connector/Watson Boulevard near a church as if he was running radar, police said.
James McFarland, 33, was charged with one count of impersonating a public officer or employee, a felony, and one count of impersonating an officer/traffic related, a misdemeanor, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police.
McFarland was parked across from the First Assembly of God at 6040 Watson Blvd. in a white Ford Crown Victoria, a vehicle popular among law enforcement agencies. The car was unmarked, Pugh said.
Warner Robins police officer Justin Dunn was out on patrol when he came up on the suspicious vehicle and stopped to investigate at 11:32 p.m., Pugh said.
McFarland allegedly showed the officer his fake badge, she said.
Not only did McFarland have a fake badge with a photo ID, he was also wearing a knockoff police raid jacket with a badge emblem, Pugh said.
He also had handcuffs and an asp baton similar to the batons carried by Warner Robins police. A loaded handgun was discovered inside the vehicle.
Police did not know early in the investigation of any motorists that may have been pulled over by McFarland, but are asking for anyone who may have had contact with him to contact the criminal investigations division.
Police also released photos of some of the police-type paraphernalia.
The black jacket had a large silver law enforcement badge on the back with the words, “Counter Terrorism Homefront Security” written in silver around the badge with the words “Task Force First U.S. Responder” over the badge.
On the front of the fake ID was a gold badge engraved with the words “Counter Terrorism Homefront Security” and “Task Force First Responder” and “U.S.”
When the badge is opened, there’s a photo of McFarland with the words, “Counter Terrorism Task Force ID NO. CTA 007848” and “Agent James McFarland.” He had a short military or law enforcement type haircut and the black T-shirt he’s wearing in the photo also had a law enforcement emblem on the front.
Underneath the photo, the badge says, “The person whose photo appears hereon is an agent for the Homefront Security Task Force. Joining with all local and national law enforcement agencies. He/she has volunteered to observe and report any and all suspicious activity that poses a threat to our freedom.” Then the words, “First Responder.”
Pugh noted that Warner Robins police patrol cars are marked, that officers wear identifying Warner Robins police uniforms and carry Warner Robins police badges.
Also, all stops made by Warner Robins police are monitored by Houston County 911 and can be verified by calling 911, she said.
Anyone with any information related to McFarland is asked to contact Warner Robins police investigators at (478) 929-6911.
To contact writer Becky Purser, 256-9559.