'21 Jump Street'-style cop: 'Jaws dropped when they saw me'
Police in the Central Valley town of Exeter have identified the officer who went undercover at a high school for eight months in a "21 Jump Street"-style drug bust.
Alex Salinas, 22, helped authorities arrest 13 people in the town with a population of 10,000. He posed as a braces-wearing high school senior looking to purchase narcotics.
Many of his friends and classmates were surprised to see Salinas in a police uniform two weeks ago when arrests were made at Exeter Union High. They knew him only as Johnny Ramirez, a new kid who left school at lunch to go help his uncle run a business.
“A lot of jaws dropped when they saw me,” Salinas told the Associated Press. “They knew me as that kid at school that they hung around with, and then the next thing they're in handcuffs and I'm in a uniform.”
City officials said they hope the bust puts students on notice. But Police Chief Cliff Bush said he may have created a problem for some of next year’s students.
“I'd hate to be the new kid at school next year,” he told the AP. “They won't make very many friends.”
-- Matt Stevens
Photo: Rookie police officer Alex Salinas, 22, poses at the police station in Exeter, Calif. Credit: Tracie Cone / Associated Press