Officer Jeff Barnes of the Emes, Iowa, police force has big plans for when he retires in three years: start his own consulting business for criminals who are prepared to pay good money for ideas on how not to get caught.
“After 25 years in police work, I have an expertise that will command a pretty penny for those who are worried about committing a crime that they’re not sure they can get away with,” says Barnes, a lieutenant. Prior to coming to Emes in 2008, he was with the Columbus, Ohio, police force for 19 years.
Barnes said he was something of a petty criminal himself before he enrolled in the Columbus police academy and became an officer one year later. “I stole a car once,” he says, “but mostly it was small stuff: candy, cigarettes, and beer from 7-Eleven, a wallet from Sears—you know, nothing to write home about, although I’m proud to say I went about a four-year stretch without paying a cent for beer.”
His early stealing helped spur his interest in law enforcement, he says. “It was key that I never got caught,” he says. “I started thinking, ‘You know, I have a skill here. I can probably apply this skill on the other side, because I know how criminals think.’”
His thieving days ended when he became a police officer, he says, but he tends to speed a lot, “because I know where all the speed cameras and taps are” and he doesn’t have to worry about his buddies giving him a ticket if he’s pulled over. “And, yeah, I’ve been pulled over a few times,” he says. “One time a colleague of mine pulled me over and when he saw it was me he said, “Oh, shit, I’m going to throw the book at you.’ And I said, ‘Go ahead. I’ll just get a ticket. But when I turn you in for smoking pot every weekend, you’ll go to jail.’ Needless to say, he didn’t write me the ticket.”
For several years, Barnes says, he’s been mulling what to do after he retires but his future became clear last year when he was watching the news on TV. “All these former senators and congressmen take jobs as lobbyists, basically getting paid to help their buds navigate the laws that they themselves helped write. So I thought, ‘D’uh, my future has been staring ne in the face and I didn’t even know it.’ If members of Congress can do it, why can’t I?
“And then, just as a coincidence, I read an article in which Congress passed a bill that repealed these provisions that energy companies were complaining about, and it quoted a lobbyist, a former congressman, on the matter. That was all the proof I needed. This dude’s getting paid to help these companies, already bloated with wealth, escape some regulatory controls. What I plan to do pales in comparison. I mean, I just want to help the little guy.”
Barnes says his specialty is petty theft, but over the years he’s gained experience with more sophisticated crimes and even some white collar crime, although he’s mainly been an on-the-street, boots-on-the-ground kind of officer, just as he was an on-the-street, boots-on-the-ground kind of criminal. “But I won’t discriminate,” he says. “I expect to be an equal-opportunity consultant for people who want to escape all different kinds of laws. I mean, my goal is to make money. I don’t care how I do it.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photo: sylvar (Creative Commons)—not necessarily an endorsed use of image.
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