Former Sunset, Parkin police officer arrested in Memphis
Criminal Impersonation charge for man looking for discount on weapon
firstname.lastname@example.org A man trying to pass himself off as an Arkansas lawman found himself on the other side of the bars Tuesday afternoon. John Griffin, a 50-year-old former policeman, was arrested in Memphis for using fake police badges to try and get discounts on weapons. MPD investigators said Griffin attempted to pass himself off as a Sunset Police Officer.
According to Crittenden County Sheriff, Mike Allen, “It's been several years since he worked for Sunset Police.”
Griffin was arrested after he impersonated an officer while trying to buying a gun from Accent Pawn in the 3600 block of Summer Avenue. Store employees stated he was trying to get a first responder discount on the weapon.
According to a report from WMC-TV in Memphis, Griffin was arrested by undercover officers after filling out the paperwork for the purchase.
'We basically went through the process of selling a firearm,” Accent Guns General Manager Will Bass said in the report. “He happened to be, I guess, attempting to buy his firearms with a discount based on his service.'
Griffin resigned from the Sunset Police Department, which no longer operates (the county handles Sunset law enforcement, with a part-time officer also handling patrols), in August 2014. The pawn shop discovered the false credentials when they ran a background check before selling him the gun.
“So they (the Memphis Police) came in and basically asked him about his credentials — which we were running — to basically transfer the firearm for the sale.'
A search revealed two Sunset police sergeant badges, a Parkin police patrolman badge, a Lock 27 handgun, a Kelt 380 handgun, a bullet resistance vest, and blue lights mounted in his personal vehicle. 'We deal with a lot of local police and fire,” Bass said. “To impersonate a first responder, you know, that's getting pretty low.'
Griffin did work as an officer with the Parkin Police Department for three weeks last year before he was laid off.
WMC reported that the Parkin police chief said his paperwork is missing and he never turned in any of his equipment. Parkin Police Department is currently investigating the incident, with possible criminal charges pending.
Griffin was charged with Criminal Impersonation.
He was released Wednesday on a $100 bond.
By Ralph Hardin