On TV PC Lee Tatton seemed to be a confident neighbourhood bobby helping rid the streets of Stoke-on-Trent from crime.
But just a few years later his career would lie in tatters after he was the one appearing in the dock.
The 54-year-old pervert this week admitted a number of child sex offences.
Like the many criminals he once caught, his mugshot has now featured on StokeonTrentLive for all the wrong reasons.
It is a long fall from grace for the man who was once followed by camera crews for fly-on-the-wall documentary Cops UK: Bodycam Squad.
At the time he was a response officer – nicknamed Tatts – covering the Hanley area, one of the busiest patches for Staffordshire Police.
Production company Raw Cut spent several weeks shadowing PC Tatton and his fellow officers on a range of incidents including rescuing people from a flat fire and breaking up a brawl outside the Market Tavern pub in the city centre.
While arresting one of the men involved in the fight, PC Tatton ended up being accidentally parva sprayed by a colleague.
It was hoped the programme – on UKTV’s Really channel – would give the public an insight into the work of the force.
Speaking at the time the show was premiered, PC Tatton told The Sentinel: “It was put to our shift about the camera crews coming out with us and I was happy to volunteer. After a while it became second nature explaining to them what we were dealing with.
“I hope it will give people an insight into what we do and the things we have to deal with at 4am and 5am when most people are tucked up in bed.”
A trawl of The Sentinel’s archives also show PC Tatton was more than happy to promote the work of the force, including dismantling a cannabis factory in Crystal Street, Cobridge, in 2008.
A later role would see him move to the Northern Resolution Centre – set up to deal with minor crime.
It was while working there in December last year that he was arrested following an investigation by the force’s Operation Safenet team, a dedicated unit tasked with looking into online child abuse to protect vulnerable young people from the twisted perverts like Tatton.
He was immediately suspended from duty.
Appearing before Birmingham Crown Court Tatton, whose address was not disclosed, pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and four counts of making an indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child.
StokeonTrentLive readers soon recognised Tatton when his custody photo was released to the media by Staffordshire Police.
Paula Wilcock said: “Bodycam Stoke-on-Trent, he let down his colleagues. Shame on him.”
And Mark Mullard said: “He was paraded on Bodycam Cops as the best in Staffordshire!”
Tatton remains on suspension subject to an internal force hearing and will be sentenced on November 2.
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In a statement this week, Assistant Chief Constable Scott Green condemned his officer.
He said: “Tatton’s actions are unacceptable and have caused harm and distress to the very people we should be protecting and keeping safe.
“His actions fell well below the high standards that the public and the force demands and expects of police officers.”