Ramsey: Only 1 of 3 cops who entered bar is dirty

A sign (top left) in the window of Pat's Cafe, at Castor Avenue and Arrott Street in the Lower Northeast, expresses support for Philadelphia Police. Surveillance video (top right) shows a police officer in the bar, pictured at right, about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
A sign (top left) in the window of Pat's Cafe, at Castor Avenue and Arrott Street in the Lower Northeast, expresses support for Philadelphia Police. Surveillance video (top right) shows a police officer in the bar, pictured at right, about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Posted: July 30, 2010

You can't buy integrity, but one longtime Philadelphia police officer allegedly kissed his goodbye for the paltry sum of $825.

That's the amount of money that vanished from a safe inside Pat's Cafe in the Lower Northeast on Tuesday morning, when an on-duty cop was caught on a surveillance camera removing "something" from the safe, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday.

Although three on-duty K-9 unit cops are caught up in the investigation into what happened inside the neighborhood bar at Castor Avenue and Arrott Street earlier this week, Ramsey made it clear that only one of them is allegedly dirty.

That cop, according to police sources, is Kenneth Crockett, a 26-year veteran who has worked in the K-9 unit for most of his career.

Crockett has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Ramsey noted that the case is still being investigated and that he expects the District Attorney's Office to determine soon whether the cop will face charges.

In the meantime, Crockett will remain on desk duty. Ramsey said he expects to move the two other cops back to regular duty today.

"Those two officers and their families don't deserve to be painted with the same brush right now," he said.

"When you look at the tape, it's not until the other officers walk away that this going into the safe takes place."

Ramsey said $825 was reported missing from the safe, which was not locked. The money has not been recovered.

He added that investigators are trying to determine why the safe was left unlocked and why a grate leading to the bar's basement was also unlocked.

The K-9 cops discovered the unlocked grate after they checked out a report of a burglary at New Vision Auto Detailing and Auto Repairs, a garage located behind Pat's, about 4 a.m. Tuesday, Ramsey said.

Once inside Pat's, Ramsey said, the cops tried calling the bar's security firm numerous times and helped themselves to soda or water - not beer, as had been previously reported. He said he would deal with the soda-consumption issue separately.

One officer left behind a note with his phone number for Pat's employees, explaining why the cops had entered the bar while it was closed, Ramsey said.

The alleged theft - from the same bar where Officer Gary Skerski was murdered after interrupting a robbery in 2006 - can't be tolerated, he noted.

"Corruption's wrong, wherever and whenever it takes place," Ramsey said.

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