St. Paul Police spokesman Paul Paulos was recently browsing theCHIVE social media site when he came across the image at the top of this post.
Concerned about the message it conveys, Paulos's department has since begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the pic.
Paulos told us the officer in the question is indeed a St. Paul cop.
"The investigation is ongoing at this point," Paulos said. "A photo talks 1,000 words, but you actually have to find out -- is that a friend of his? Was it taken during a call? Is it an act?"
Regardless of whether the photo was staged or not, Paulos suggested it's no laughing matter.
"You have to remember, whether you're on duty or not, that you represent the St. Paul Police Department," Paulos said. "This could fall under 'conduct unbecoming.' There are a set of rules and the chief will have to go off that once the findings are made."
As far how he found the photo, Paulos said "part of our job here in the public information office is to monitor Facebook and other sites the new generation is using."
"It's not supposed to be about 'big brother,' but I think the public has an expectation that we are professional and have integrity."
KSTP, citing "a source within the St. Paul Police Department," reports that the passed out man in the photo is the officer's friend, and the picture was taken as a joke, with the text later added for additional laughs.