Police Volunteer Charged With Impersonating Officer

A former volunteer with the Greenville Police Department has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Warrants say Jonathan Parker used his credentials to attempt the purchase of a handgun. In the other case, he is accused of identifying himself as a police officer investigating a noise complaint.

Police say in early March they received two complaints about the 25-year-old Parker. He was immediately released from his duties as a volunteer.

Parker was served with a criminal summons on Sunday.

Volunteers have a badge and department issued IDs that could be confused for what sworn officers carry. Volunteers, who do not get paid, perform duties inside the police department, or sometimes patrol as an extra set of eyes for officers. They are unarmed and cannot make arrests.

Spokeswoman Kristen Hunter says Chief Hassan Aden realized last fall that volunteer badges and their vehicles looked too similar to actual police, so they started changing their uniforms and the color of their cars for their safety.

Police say Parker was released after internal investigation and has cooperated with them.

Hunter says the former volunteer was not a threat to the public, and did not attempt any official police work.