Dress a man like a cop, give him a badge and responsibility, pretty soon he’ll start acting like he’s an actual police.

A curious fixture of Melbourne public transport, the Authorised Officer is a strange breed – a class of absolutely-not-cops stuck in a Britney Spears-esque “not a girl/not yet a woman” phase that straddles them in essentially a glorified customer service role, yet allows them the employment hubris to believably call shifts “the beat” and strut around in aviators muttering things about how they’re going to “clean up these stations.”

Police academy dropouts who failed the ethics exam. The fish that John West rejects.

The officers have come under fire on numerous occasions for being jock-itch grunts who have used force that far exceeds the apparent grave crime of failing to touch on.

But their cop playacting doesn’t end there. Apparently they’ve been pulling that classic move from every 70s detective film and demanding cheap or free coffee from train station baristas.

In a story posted by The Age, it’s claimed that at least three protective officers have approached a station coffee shop at Darling Station in East Malvern, and demanded cheap drinks using the excuse “because we are authorised officers and Metro affiliated.”

Metro has stated it is investigating the complaint, but the practice isn’t apparently confined to just that station.

At Elsternwick Station, Leon Miccole – the owner of a station coffee stall – stated he reserves discounts for regular Metro officers as a gesture of goodwill.

“It’s about good neighbourly relationships,” he stated, before following up with this absolute cracker of a sentence, “I’m Italian. I don’t get intimidated.”

Melbourne Metro Inspectors Playing Cops, Apparently Demanding Free Coffee

I tell ya, something stinks on Melbourne’s train stations, and for once it ain’t just junkie spew.

Now all we need is an idealistic Serpico-type figure to enter the force and clean it up and we’ll really be in business.

via The Age.