GREENVILLE, N.C. -
A Citizens on Patrol Volunteer with the Greenville Police Department has been released from the department and charged with impersonating an officer.
Police say in early March they received several complaints that 25-year-old Jonathan Parker used his credentials and position as a volunteer inappropriately.
The department launched an internal investigation and found that Parker impersonated an officer on at least two separate occasions. The evidence was presented to Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb, who agreed to prosecute the case.
Upon learning of the accusations against Parker, the Greenville Police Department immediately released him from his duties and privileges as a volunteer.
The Greenville Police Department says they have not found any evidence to suggest that Parker was a public safety threat. They say it appears that through casual conversations with individuals, he either directly represented or implied that he was a Greenville Police Officer.
“Since October, the Greenville Police Department has been proactively making changes to the way our volunteers appear and operate,” said Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter. “All of our volunteers have clearly marked vehicles and clothing. They no longer carry a volunteer badge and they receive direct assignments from supervisors. The changes were made not only to increase our effectiveness, but to protect our volunteers. We never want there to be any confusion as to what their role is, and certainly would never want them to end up in potentially dangerous situations due to that confusion. The incident involving Mr. Parker is unfortunate, but it is validation that the changes we have already been making prior to this incident are necessary. We truly value and appreciate our volunteers and their contributions to this Police Department.”
Parker was served a criminal summons on Sunday. He is charged with Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer.