Aurora Police Officer Nathan Meier promoted 3.5 years after being found drunk at wheel of police car
Aurora Police Officer Nathan Meier, who was found drunk at the wheel of an Aurora police vehicle in 2019, was recently promoted three and a half years after his actions brought APD into disrepute and cast doubt on the decision-making of APD command officers, CBS News Colorado recently learned.
In March 2019, Meier was found drunk while on duty and at the wheel of a running Aurora police vehicle near Buckley Air Base. Meier was in a full police uniform and was armed. He was so unresponsive, first responders had to break a car window to get to the officer.
But Meier was never arrested or charged with DUI, as command officers deemed it a medical situation. Meier's blood alcohol level was more than five times the legal limit for DUI and he admitted to drinking to the point of impairment.
The case "destroyed our reputation," said then-acting Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.
Meier was suspended and demoted. A formal review of what happened found Aurora police commanders made crucial mistakes in their handling of the case.
But Meier was recently promoted to the rank of "agent/detective" after taking part in a promotional process. He finished third among those who applied for the promotion and Meier was formally promoted on Dec. 24. In his new position, Meier will be earning a salary of $110,399, an increase of $10,000 from his previous position as an officer.
Interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said when he learned of the pending promotion and Meier's history, "I did bring him in and spoke with him. I actually had him come in and we had a very frank conversation."
Acevedo said he spoke to Meier about future expectations.
"To his credit, he's owned it and turned his life around," he said.
Meier shares his story with police cadets and other employee groups, in an attempt to help them avoid what happened to him, according to Acevedo. He went on to say what happened to Meier "saved his life. When you look at the level of intoxication he could have lost his life."
Acevedo pointed out the promotional process was competitive and Meier followed the civil service rules.
CBS News Colorado attempted to contact Meier via email but he did not immediately respond.
UPDATE: Aurora City Council eyeing rule changes following controversial police promotion
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