A male police officer in the Bay of Plenty who offered "$20 for a BJ" after a quiz night has been found to have acted inappropriately towards female colleagues, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.
The Authority released its ruling today into two complaints by two separate female officers.
In October last year, following a quiz night at a Bay of Plenty police station, the officer approached a colleague as she was getting ready to leave then offered her "$20 for a BJ".
The woman was upset by the comment and complained to a senior officer. Police advised the IPCA of the complaint.
While investigating this issue, the Authority became aware that in August 2018 the man also sent inappropriate emails and texts to a newly-recruited female officer.
They included the male officer using the woman's computer to send himself an email, purportedly from her, asking if they had become "best friends". He then replied to this email from his own computer and email account. When the female police officer saw the two emails, she attempted to end the exchange in a friendly way.
A few days later, the male officer then sent her several text messages implying he had used illegal drugs. She was concerned about the apparent drug use by a police officer so spoke with a superior about the texts.
Police conducted employment investigations into both incidents and sanctioned the male officer involved. But the investigations also found that he did not use illegal drugs - only that he had implied he did in an attempt to impress the female police officer.
The Authority found that the man behaved inappropriately towards both of his colleagues and that his actions were inconsistent with police policy on discrimination and harassment, Police Values, and the Police Code of Conduct.
Authority Chair Judge Colin Doherty, said the officer [named in the findings as Officer A] placed his colleagues in a position where they felt uncomfortable, embarrassed and demeaned.
"His behaviour was completely inappropriate, and it is no mitigation that his comments and actions were intended to be funny or to impress. Officer A fell short of the behaviour and values expected of a New Zealand Police employee by a considerable margin."
Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor said the behaviour displayed by the officer was "totally unacceptable".
"This type of behaviour towards colleagues falls far below the standard expected of a NZ Police officer. It is not in line with our values and what is laid out clearly in our Police Code of Conduct," he said.
"I commend the women involved for coming forward and speaking up, so we could investigate and act accordingly."