Police officer admits taking radar detector
By DEBBIE BURT MYERS
A Philadelphia police officer was placed on administrative leave last week and resigned Tuesday after he admitted taking a radar detector from a vehicle he pulled over.
Patrolmen Johnnie T. Keyes was charged in an affidavit with taking a Cobra radar detector from the vehicle following a traffic stop on Valley View Drive on Monday, Jan. 26.
Keyes has not been arrested pending a hearing before a circuit judge to establish probable cause, said Police Chief Dickie Sistrunk.
The hearing is set for Friday at 9 a.m.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested on an outstanding warrant for simple assault and taken to jail by another officer while Keyes remained behind waiting for a wrecker, Sistrunk said.
The man realized that the radar detector was missing after he got out of jail and reported the theft to police, Sistrunk said.
The man talked with the wrecker driver and was told there was no radar detector inside when the vehicle was towed.
Sistrunk said police filed a report on the missing radar detector and in the mean time the man, Derrick Henley, signed an affidavit accusing another officer.
After an internal investigation, Keyes admitted to having the radar detector which police later retrieved at his residence, Sistrunk said.
"The law says you cannot arrest a police officer until he has had a hearing before a circuit court judge to establish probably cause," Sistrunk said.
Sistrunk was to bring the incident before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night.
David Brackett, the other officer involved in the traffic stop, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Keyes was hired as a patrolman with the police department on April 16, 2008.
Sistrunk expressed concern about the officer's actions.
"People entrust my officers to serve and protect them," he said. "This shows that my officers are no better than anybody else. Our department will investigate and take corrective action which something like this occurs."
Another officer resigned last year after he admitted to shoplifting while on duty.
Sgt. Toby Wilson, 59, of 527 John C. Stennis Dr., Louisville, resigned last August after he was caught on surveillance tape taking a can of Pepsi from a convenience store without paying for it.
No charges were filed.
Last week, another officer was suspended for five days without pay for unauthorized use of a patrol car. (See story, page 1A.)