NSW cop faces charges over war medals
A SERVING NSW police officer has been charged for allegedly wearing military medals that he was not entitled to.
Senior Constable Darrin Hooper, 45, was yesterday charged with wear service decoration when not entitled and falsely represent to be returned soldier.
It follows an investigation that was launched after complaints were received following his appearance on the popular television program Highway Patrol in 2018.
During his brief appearance on the show, an eagle-eyed viewer noticed three military medals on his black leather police jacket.
Members of the online Australian and New Zealand Military Imposter Group identified a Timor Leste Solidarity Medal, Australian Service Medal and an Infantry Combat Badge on his chest.
The Daily Telegraph understands the medals he wore inferred he had served as part of an operational infantry unit in East Timor.
Police will allege Hooper wore three military awards on his police uniform - two of which did not allow him to wear the third Infantry Combat Badge.
Hooper did briefly serve in the Australian Army but dropped out after several weeks in basic training. He was never deployed overseas.
A NSW police spokesman said it was not uncommon for officers who have served in the defence force to wear their medals.
"It is fairly normal for serving police to wear their military medals. As long as they are wearing the correct ones," he said.
The improper use of service documents is a criminal offence under the Defence Act 1903, and attracts a maximum six-month jail term or $3300 fine.