Cop fibs about his identity, then gets promoted

Is there something in the water in New Zealand I don’t know about? Because this is so far “out there” it’s not funny.

The Wellington, New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post (story posted online by stuff.co.nz) reported on the antics of one officer Aaron Bateman, who apparently had no moral or ethical qualms about fibbing about his identity when stopped for a council bylaws violation (towing a person without an observer). Mr. Bateman gave the name of a friend, who was shocked to get the citation, and Mr. Bateman went as far as to call the incident a “practical joke gone wrong.”

The limit of Mr. Bateman’s punishment by the council was a (NZ)$200 fine on top of the original violation’s (NZ)$200 fine. From the article:

Rotorua area commander Inspector Bruce Horne said Mr Bateman did not commit a criminal offence, but acknowledged he had breached a council bylaw.

“The actions of the officer involved were clearly not of the high standards the police expect, and he was subject to an internal code of conduct investigation.”

Mr Horne said he was “bound by employment law”, which meant he could not reveal the outcome of the investigation.

But this is the most shocking part:

Three months after the incident, sources have revealed Mr Bateman has been promoted from constable to sergeant.

Promoted? Seriously?

I’d like to know what they were thinking when they decided to promote someone who had committed a breach of the public trust, criminal offense or not. This course of events is outrageous enough reading about it thousands of miles away. Is it any wonder we have cops thinking the badge is a “get away with it” card all over the globe, when things like this happen?

The right thing to do, at minimum, is strip Mr. Bateman of his promotion immediately and apologize to the citizens of Wellington and the Rotorua district. I have serious doubts that someone willing to lie to escape a small fine has any business carrying a badge and a gun and enforcing the law.

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