AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said he had a heart-to-heart talk with Nate Meier, an Aurora Police officer caught on body camera video almost four years ago, passed out and drunk behind the wheel of an unmarked police car.

While he stands by Meier now, Acevedo said he would have made a different decision had he been police chief back in 2019, when Meier’s incident happened.

“After understanding that I could not stop the promotion,” Acevedo said, “I brought him in this office and we had a very frank conversation about what would’ve happened had I been the chief, because it’s in policy.”

Meier wasn’t charged with a crime and kept his job, back in 2019, a decision made by then Police Chief Nick Metz.

Acevedo said Meier has since quit drinking.

“He should’ve done that before he got himself behind the wheel drunk driving, not after,” Acevedo said.

Because of a rule in Aurora’s charter, enough time had passed that Meier was eligible to accept a promotion to agent-detective and a $10,000 raise, late last month.

“If it’s been over two years, and they pass an examination, they pass the promotional process,” Acevedo said. “They go on a list and you cannot bypass them.”

The incident, Acevedo said, was not good for the department’s image.

“It hurt us back then because someone that really committed a criminal offense did not face any consequences,” Acevedo said.

Meier has used this incident to train department recruits.

“Whatever happened, happened, you can’t change, he did take advantage of the circumstances and he has turned his life around and he’s performing at a good level here at the department,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo wants to work with city leaders to discuss ways to change rules to grant him more options when handling promotions within the department personally.