A Winter Haven man is accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said James Garfield, 28, had a vehicle, bulletproof vests, gold star badges, and business cards - all decked out with the ‘enforcement officer’ title.
Deputies responding to a ‘BOLO’ tip for a suspicious law enforcement vehicle said Garfield answered the door wearing a button down shirt and tie bearing a gold metallic star badge on his belt.
“He gave every appearance that he was a law enforcement officer when in fact he’s the antithesis of that. He’s a criminal,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Parked in the driveway was a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria with police lights, law enforcement style graphics, a mounted police radar speed measurement device, a video camera, and additional mounted LED lights, according to the affidavit.
Deputies said they found related duty gear inside the vehicle including a Taser, two magazines with 9mm pistol ammo and a BB gun replica of a Walter 9mm pistol.
“He went to the extreme. This is as extreme as any I’ve seen in the recent past,” said Sheriff Judd.
Garfield, who told deputies he owns a security business, claimed all items with the words "law enforcement" were printing mistakes. He is also charged with driving on a revoked habitual license.
Sheriff Judd said he doesn’t even have a license to be a security guard, let alone an officer of the law.
“He is not Hawaii 5-0. Or Joe Maddox. He’s certainly not Adam 12. Or Friday. But he is… a jailbird,” he said.
Investigators are asking the public to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office if you’ve had any interaction with Garfield while presenting himself as an officer.