This morning, I ran into Jimmy Binns, the lawyer/philanthropist, dressed in full police-like uniform and riding a 1450cc Harley Davidson with police markings (though the insignia was not official).
I have absolutely no problems with police. And there could be no more worthy cause than the Hero Thrill Show, the fund raiser Binns supports which assists the children of slain officers. But this is out of control.
Binns' costume - because, yes, it is a costume, not a uniform - was the exact same as the actual police officer Binns was hanging with at the coffee shop on 4th Street. The only exception was that Binns sported a white shirt, which I believe is usually reserved for police of a higher rank. The motorcycle Binns was riding was the exact same as well, except that in place of a police logo, there was a Hero Thrill Show logo.
Isn't this impersonating a police officer?
Here is the Pennsylvania law pertaining to the situation:
§ 4912. Impersonating a public servant.
A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he falsely pretends to hold a position in the public service with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense to his prejudice.
Now, being in fake uniform alone doesn't seem to qualify - unless he starts ordering people around, which he wasn't. But Binns has abused his connections to police in the past. I've heard from sources that Binns has even shown up at events brandishing a sidearm.
As I've said before, this isn't the worst thing happening in the city. But this is clearly a delusional jackass who gets away with stuff because he has money. And that isn't the way the system is supposed to work.
Frankly, he devalues the uniform by buying his way into it. And if he had any respect for the officers he purports to appreciate, he would let them do their work without trying to act like he's one of them.