Airport police officers are trusted to protect the thousands of people who pass through every day. But at least one of those officers at Harrisburg International Airport is accused of betraying that trust.
Investigators said he got away with more than $11,000 in police funds.
According to court paperwork, 40-year-old Todd MacFarlane admitted to stealing more than $11,400 between September, 2010 and September, 2013. That money was taken from the police association, an organization that he was both president and treasurer of.
“No public money was involved. It was from basically the union for those officers,” said Fan Chardo, first assistant district attorney in Dauphin County.
When a new association president replaced MacFarlane in the fall, the new boss noticed something was not quite right with the bank account, authorities said.
“Well the new officers were assuming their duties and reviewing the books and they realized there had been this theft,” Chardo said.
Court paperwork states MacFarlane took the money from an ATM and used it for “personal living expenses.”
“Going to make full restitution, which goes a long way in mitigating the punishment. Certainly giving the money back is not the same as not having taken it,” Chardo said.
Prosecutors said the incident should not shine a bad light on all police officers.
“In any profession and in any occupation there are gonna be people that make mistakes and violate the law and police work is no different. And certainly it shouldn't reflect on a great majority of honest police officers,” said Chardo.
abc27 News received a statement from the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority:
“Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA) is aware that one of our former officers has been charged with engaging in alleged criminal conduct. SARAA cooperated fully with the investigation and has detailed policies and procedures in place to prevent improper activities by its employees. The alleged conduct did not involve any SARAA property or assets.”