MIAMI — More than 1,400 people are arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer every year, according to Florida Department of Justice statistics. And whereas some see a plague affecting public safety, one legislator sees opportunity.
State Representative Lawson Shortchange has authored groundbreaking legislation that would mandate that police agencies employ imposters instead of incarcerating them. He believes the combination of high enthusiasm for law enforcement and low intellect makes these wannabes ideal for a wide range of police duties.
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Before turning to politics, Shortchange had a 15-year career as a patrolman for a mid-sized Florida city.
“Before I started writing laws, I enforced them,” Shortchange explained. “I know from experience that there are plenty of calls for service which don’t need much more law enforcement know-how than your average police imposter can’t handle.
“Take two drunks fighting outside a bar, for instance. We don’t need an actual police officer getting in the way of that mess. Send a local-yokel wannabe and let him get all beat up. Hell, he can just stand there and watch until EMS arrives. That’s all I ever did on those calls.”
State FOP President Owen Hardarse has enthusiastically endorsed the measure.
Hardarse said that he would encourage all departments statewide to implement a modified version of Operation Cannon Fodder. That plan, which has been collecting dust since first conceived on April 1, 1968, stated that only rookies with citizen ridealongs be dispatched to “unknown trouble” calls.
Hardarse growled, “If this legislation is passed, and we think it should be, the Cannon Fodder SOP would be immediately rewritten to put impersonators on at the tip of that particular spear.”
Other possible jobs for police impersonators include Chief, Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief.