People forget things every day, whether it be their keys, wallets, purses, phones— the list goes on. Usually, the consequences of forgetting those items are a minor inconvenience as you tear apart your home to locate them.
Unfortunately for Mike Jones, former Police Chief of Brookside Alabama, the consequences of forgetting were profoundly serious when he displayed his Police Chief badge during a traffic stop in Covington County Alabama on April 12th. The reason the consequences became serious is because after that stop, information discovered revealed Jones had resigned months ago as Chief of Police in Brookside on January 25, 2022.
On April 12, 2022, Jones was on Alabama 55 South when a Covington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy checked his speed. Jones was caught driving 78 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. When the deputy stopped Jones, he noted when he approached the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle was holding a police officer badge out the driver’s side window. The badge was a Brookside Chief of Police badge; however, jones resigned from the Brookside Police Department in January, after reports of the small towns “aggressive” policing practices.
Jones built the Brookside Police Department from a one-man rodeo to a full-strength force of 14 sworn police officers. Jones resigned shortly after a news article called into question how the department was allegedly using fines and forfeitures to supply half the town’s income. Brookside currently faces 13 lawsuits from citizens who have claimed mistreatment by the Brookside Police Department. An audit of the department revealed a large number of errors, everything from financial discrepancies, to missing firearms, as well as firearms which were found at the department with no explanation as to why they were there. The local court officials have also either thrown out, or called into question more than 100 cases involving Brookside police.
According to AL.com in the warrant affidavit submitted by the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, Jones told the deputy during the stop he was the Chief of Brookside, at which point in time the deputy gave Jones a “professional courtesy warning” and let him go. Investigator Blayne Pruett spoke with Lieutenant Stewart of the Brookside Police Department and confirmed that Jones is no longer affiliated with the department. A call to the Attorney Generals Office in Alabama revealed Jones to not be affiliated with any law enforcement agency within the state of Alabama.
On May 2, 2022, Jones, with his attorney Corey Bryan, turned himself in at that Covington County Jail according to Sheriff Blake Turman. If found guilty, the Alabama statute covering the impersonation of a peace officer is a class C felony.
I must agree with Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman when he says, “it’s now more than ever before that law enforcement must maintain high levels of professionalism and integrity.”