Oak Harbor man accused of impersonating police officer for 25 years

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Jim Bailey

OAK HARBOR, Wash. — A 69-year-old Oak Harbor man is accused of having posed as a police officer for 25 years.

And if he did, many people are wondering, what did he do with the powers he simply assumed?

Oak Harbor police say that for at least two and a half decades, Jim Bailey, 69, pretended to be a police officer.

“To be able to do that for 25 years and get away with it is kind of surprising, but, yeah, it’s completely wrong,” said Oak Harbor resident Mark Belcher.

Police said Bailey’s life as a cop imposter came to an end Aug. 6.  He saw a man and a woman fighting on the street in Oak Harbor and intervened.

“He had held down the male or pulled him aside and directed the other individual to call the police and say that an officer needs assistance,” Police Chief Ed Green said Thursday.

That call — officer needs assistance — is a serious matter and officers responded quickly. When they arrived, there was no officer — only the couple and Jim Bailey.

Data pix.

After a month-long investigation, Bailey was arrested and police found he had been posing as an officer, or a retired officer. They say he even placed ads in newspapers offering his professional services all over the state and everyone believed he was actually an officer.

"He was listed as an officer doing certain trainings and things, so there became some concern that he was acting as an officer, maybe obtaining information that he shouldn't be obtaining, maybe obtaining information that we need," Green said.

"Twenty-five years, I mean, that's a really long time and for no one to even realize for that long a time is actually kind of terrifying in a way. Cause who else is out there doing it?"asked resident Jennifer McIntosh.

Bailey was actually an Oak Harbor reserve officer for three years in the late 1980s. He resigned to go to the police academy, but never graduated.

"We take this profession very seriously," Green said. "We work significantly hard to get into this profession, a lot of pride and a lot of integrity in what we do and I don't need someone coming along and portraying to be somebody they aren't."

Resident Ed Rose said, "Shouldn't be allowed to be on the street. Should be in jail."

Now police want to know if any citizens had "official interaction" with Bailey or if any agency may have been conned into paying for his services. If so, Oak Harbor police want to hear from you.

Impersonating an officer can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision is up to the Island County prosecutor.





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  • IP 145.344.032

    An almost 70 year old just stopped a man from beating on a woman and the only thing cops find time to do is investigate the senior citizen?!? I guess the little secret we should all learn from this is that when you are the victim of domestic violence and you actually want police to show up as if they care, say there is “an officer that needs assistance”. As, if it is just you who is being pummeled, they would just finish their dozen donuts first. “We take this profession very seriously” — come now, you’ve already admitted it by your actions in responding to this call — it is yourself and your own brotherhood that you take so seriously.

    • DuhNigreus

      Wow. You nailed it. “Officer down” will be my first words to 911 dispatch is we’re ever in dire need of help. They regard each others’ lives as much more valuable than everyone else’s.

    • BJ

      You are such a flippin clown. It is dumb asses like you that I have come to despise. Yell ya what moron, the next time you feel compelled to call 911….handle it yourself!

  • Rebecca Hagemann

    May want to look into the rape cases in the 80″s where a man posing as a police officer was pulling women over. I’m not sure they ever caught that guy.

  • DKing

    Why blame the police for a vigilante who’s actions could have caused escalating behavior? If you believe OHPD dismissed the domestic violence incident than you must have a skewed opinion about the situation. Instead, countless unreported encounters possibly occurred by a man posing as an officer. That is where my outrage is directed. Who knows what advice this man gave others that actually needed the intervention of the proper authorities. If he is just now being caught than it’s almost asinine to believe he hasn’t influenced situations where he didn’t ask for the true police’s help. Like it or not we live in a society that has laws and citizens who protect, police. If an officer is injured in the line of duty of course said incident would take precedence, unless someone’s on a rampage on the streets of Oak Harbor. At least finally a man that believed he was above the law will get what is coming to him by his inexcusable actions. Vigilantism is a means that has no end. The Wild West had it’s time which helped prove that law enforcement agencies are paramount to controlling society and our people.

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