NHP arrests SPD chaplain for impersonating officer

Mugshot courtesy CCSO
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SPARKS, NV (KOLO) - A Sparks man is facing charges of impersonating an officer after Nevada Highway Patrol says he flashed red and blue emergency lights to move other vehicles over and out of the way.

79-year-old Jay Harlen Jeffers was pulled over Thursday, May 9, 2019 after another driver notified NHP that a man in a white Nissan Frontier pickup truck was flashing the lights on US 395. Jeffers allegedly used the lights from Washoe Valley south of Bowers Mansion Road and into Carson City and into Dayton.

Jeffers was arrested and charged with impersonating a peace officer, reckless driving, operating a vehicle with front-facing red lights, and displaying blue lights on a non-emergency vehicle.

NHP says Jeffers also had a police chaplain badge and identification card from the Sparks Police Department. It was determined that he had no police authority and no authorization by any agency to have red and blue lighting on his personal vehicle and was booked into the Carson City Sheriff’s Office jail. No mugshot has been made available.

The Sparks Police Department confirms, at the time of his arrest, Jeffers was an active member of the Sparks Police Chaplain Corp. which is made up from local clergy of various religions who volunteer their services to the department in providing guidance to members of the department and community during difficult times and/or times of crisis.

Sparks police say they have suspended Jeffers' status as a Sparks Police Chaplain.

Sparks Police Department Deputy Chief Pete Krall says “Mr. Jeffers was not authorized to have emergency lights or sirens in his personal vehicle. We are continuing to work with the Nevada Highway Patrol concerning this ongoing investigation.”

If you feel that you’re being stopped by an unmarked vehicle that is not authorized to do so, NHP says to call 911 or NHP to confirm its legitimacy.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019