Harry R. Green Jr. wore a D.C. police uniform and badge. He carried a 9mm Glock semiautomatic handgun and a radio issued by the department's 6th District. He wrote arrest reports in at least two cases, authorities believe.
But Green was an impostor, a convincing moonlighter whose connection to the police department existed primarily in his mind, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday in announcing Green's arrest on a charge of impersonating an officer.
Ramsey called the case "bizarre" and counted it among the 10 most unusual in his career. But he also termed Green's performance a "major breach in security" and announced a series of reforms.
"There were breakdowns in security on our part. We have to bear responsibility for that. There's just no excuse for it, but it happened," Ramsey said. "He is not a member of the Metropolitan Police Department."
Ramsey announced the temporary suspension of the department's reserve officer program, in which about 100 people assist police as volunteers. He said it will resume when the officers have been screened and new identification issued.
All police officers also will be issued new identification badges, to include bar codes and fresh personnel numbers. More detailed computer listings of employees will be created, in part to tighten access to police facilities.
Ramsey said it is unknown how Green, a 28-year-old Seat Pleasant resident, acquired a police radio programmed to the department's frequencies. He said Green purchased a Glock semiautomatic, similar to police-issue pistols, in Maryland.
Police charged Green late Tuesday with impersonating an officer and carrying unregistered ammunition and a pistol without a license. The U.S. attorney's office filed the gun charge yesterday and will investigate further. A D.C. Superior Court commissioner ordered Green held without bond.
Ramsey said Green rode with police officers in at least three D.C. police districts and spent time in police facilities. Since May, the chief believes, Green has drafted reports in at least two arrests--a drug case and an assault case.
Police believe Green, a father of three, posed as a reserve officer for several months and may have posed as a sworn full-time officer. They are checking records dating to 1997. All reserve officers can make arrests, and some are authorized to do so alone.
Green was arrested after he reported to a private security job at 1776 F St. NW dressed in a full D.C. police uniform, carrying the Glock registered to him in Maryland, police said. He put the gun in his car, but security company staff called police.
Ramsey said officers have found no record of Green applying for police work.
"It's just bizarre," Ramsey said. "We're trying to increase our [officer] numbers, but not like this."