New Port Richey, Florida - In our previous stories, we told you about 9-1-1 emergency calls that rang over 40 times before they were answered. We told you about supervisors sleeping on the job, and employees with degrees from diploma mills that are not recognized in Florida.
Now we've discovered a 9-1-1 dispatcher, George Edwards, who resigned after coming close to impersonating an officer.
Doug Tobin, from the Pasco Sheriff's Office says former dispatcher George Edwards had “good intentions, he really did want to become a law enforcement officer. But he made a lot of bad choices in trying to get to that goal.”
Sheriff's records show Edwards purchased a white police-like vehicle with tinted windows. He equipped it with lights and a siren. And a when a deputy stopped Edwards for going 80 on US 19, the deputy found four pairs of handcuffs, a spotlight, a hand-held radio and a laptop computer.
Edwards was not ticketed.
We also learned that Edwards had been patrolling his neighborhood in his "unmarked vehicle," while wearing his star shirt with a sheriff's star and his name.
The reports also show Edwards violated policy by placing a training video of himself stopping a vehicle in a marked car on YouTube. He also violated policy when he checked several tags and driver license numbers on the teletype machine, and when he lied to a deputy over the radio, telling him that he is sergeant.
The sheriff's office thought the allegations were serious enough to begin an internal affairs investigation, but the agency determined George Edwards didn't do anything criminal, even though the investigation ended before it was completed.
Spokesperson Doug Tobin says what Edwards did “was borderline illegal. He was snowballing on the path to illegal activity.”
But the apparent “wanna-be” cop Edwards will not face any charges as he looks for another job - presumably outside of law enforcement.
Mike Deeson, Tampa Bay's 10 News