A 31-year-old Baltimore County man has been arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer in St. Mary's County, and police are investigating whether he may have committed similar offenses closer to his home.

Donald James Church Jr. was arrested May 15 at his home on Sollers Point Road in Dundalk, where police found "police paraphernalia including a badge, a realistic-looking toy gun, and imitation police reports that he had written," according to a statement released by Baltimore County police. Church was taken to St. Mary's County where he appeared in District Court charged with impersonating a police officer and a handgun charge.

The statement supplied few details of the allegations, but said Church claimed to be a "Baltimore County Police Officer from the Narcotics Unit" and the North Point Precinct. Witnesses told police that Church "has been seen wearing what appeared to be a handgun and a holster out in public while displaying a badge around his neck," the statement said.

The offenses all were alleged to have taken place in St. Mary's, but representatives of the criminal investigations unit at the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office were not available on Tuesday afternoon. Baltimore County police spokeswoman Detective Cathy Batton said Baltimore County police are putting out the word in case Church was allegedly doing similar things in Baltimore County.

"We want to make sure we know the extent of his activities in Baltimore County," Batton said.

The statement said Church has also been known to use the names Donald Roberts, Donald Robins, Don Meyers and Don Myers.

Impersonating a police officer is a misdemeanor; the seriousness of the handgun charge depends on the defendant's prior record, Batton said.

Baltimore County police are asking anyone with information to call 410-307-2020.

arthur.hirsch@baltsun.com

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts