Police: Man impersonated retired cop for 2 decades

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OAK HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — A funeral home worker was arrested in Washington state after police said he pretended to be a retired officer for two decades and recently intervened in a fight.

Authorities became aware of suspect Jim Bailey last month after he tried to break up a dispute between a couple in a car by identifying himself as a retired cop and telling a witness to call 911, Oak Harbor Police Chief Edgar Green said.

An investigation determined the 69-year-old Bailey had been pretending to be a retired officer for more than 20 years, the chief said. Impersonating a police officer is a gross misdemeanor in Washington.

"We're very proud of what we do and work very hard at what we do," Green said. "So to find someone who comes along and just takes that for granted and pretends to be one of us, that's upsetting."

Bailey's attorney says the situation is a misunderstanding and Bailey, who was arrested last week, is a good Samaritan who tried to help, KOMO reported (bit.ly/1wwBqG6) Tuesday.

A message left Friday by The Associated Press for attorney Christon Skinner wasn't immediately returned.

Bailey spent a few years as an Oak Harbor reserve officer in the late 1980s but did not graduate from the police academy or become an officer.

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