COVINGTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Monday, the former chief of the Brookside Police Department was arrested and charged with impersonating an officer, allegedly in order to get out of a traffic ticket.
Michael Ryan Jones, who formerly served as the chief of the BPD until resigning in January, turned himself over to the Covington County Jail Monday and was charged with impersonating a peace officer. His arrest comes after an incident on April 12, when he was allegedly used his Brookside Police badge to avoid getting a ticket during a traffic stop in Covington County.
“It’s more important now than ever before that law enforcement maintain high levels of professionalism and integrity,” Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman said in a statement. “In this case, we had a young deputy that was trying to be respectful to a supposed veteran officer and gave him a break. But Jones was not the Chief at Brookside when he held himself out to be, using deception to disrespect that young deputy. The deputy has since also issued a speeding ticket to go along with the Impersonation charge. This remains an active investigation and no further comments will be made at this time.”
Over the last several months, the Brookside Police Department has faced scrutiny over its ticketing practices, as well as alleged corruption. In a report published by AL.com, figures pointed to half of the town’s revenue had come from an increase in fines and forfeitures, including officers taking property during traffic stops.
Jones resigned less than a week after the AL.com report came out. Following Jones’ resignation, Henry Irby was named interim chief of the department.
The Brookside PD is currently being investigated.