Police officer charged with theft could avoid trial

A Harrisburg police officer accused of stealing money from a charitable organization for children could avoid trial.

Jennie Jenkins waived a preliminary hearing Friday and will apply for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition, or ARD.

The state attorney general’s office charged Jenkins with four counts of theft in July after she allegedly stole about $7,000 from the Harrisburg Police Athletic League, a program that works to prevent juvenile crime by building a bond between police officers and children.

Prosecutors said while Jenkins was president of the organization, she wrote checks to herself from an account made up of donations and grant funding.

“I think this was a product of lack of training, lack of oversight, and just not – she wasn’t equipped to handle this,” her attorney, Brian Perry, said after the hearing.

If accepted into ARD, Jenkins would have to pay fines and restitution, and she would likely be on probation for one or two years.

“She will repay all of the money that she took,” deputy attorney general Clarke Madden said. “I think that’s something people can feel very good about and can, we hope, restore their confidence.”

Jenkins’s record would be expunged if she completes ARD, but it’s not likely she would be allowed to return to law enforcement.

She was suspended with pay when the charges were filed, but Police Chief Thomas Carter said pay was removed from her suspension after the case was bound for court.

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