Even after Hatboro officials as a criminal investigation got underway, the borough continued to pay his medical insurance and bi-weekly child support, an official told Patch.
The payments continued, according to the source, until . Besides the health insurance payment, $394 was paid to Harrisburg every other week to cover child support on behalf of Becker. Upon his resignation in June, the borough reportedly paid Becker $7,200 for accumulated sick pay, vacation and holiday time.
But, , is not “eligible” for a police pension, Borough Manager Steven Plaugher said Friday.
“When he resigned from the force in June 2011, he opted to withdraw his pension contributions rather than vest them,” Plaugher wrote in an email. “All police employees who leave prior to their eligible retirement date have that option.”
Plaugher said officers are entitled to their own personal contributions plus interest. Any money provided by Hatboro would “stay in the fund,” Plaugher said.
In order to collect the borough’s match, Becker, a decorated officer with 17 years on the force, would have had to retire, Plaugher said.
“There’s not any taxypayer money going back to him for his pension contribution,” Plaugher said. after Becker's resignation, said he was not "aware" of medical insurance contributions, child support payments, or the $7,200 pay out.
"I'm not seeing that," Plaugher said.
Moving forward, Plaugher said new procedures have been put in place to better safeguard items in the police department’s evidence locker.
“The new evidence room policy is similar to the previous policy, with the addition of increased auditing of the evidence room by the Chief of Police, and a third party system, where Upper Moreland Police will conduct an independent audit of Hatboro’s Police evidence room,” Plaugher wrote. “A new video surveillance camera has been added to the evidence room area.”
Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner told Patch Friday that the new policy took effect in May 2011. Part of that procedure, Gardner said, involves “unannounced inspections,” as well as scheduled audits.
“The fact is you’re still going to have people involved,” Gardner said. “When you have humans involved – they’re certainly fallible.”
According to the criminal complaint against Becker, Gardner told authorities during questioning in June 2011 that he and Becker were “the only employees with keys and combination to the evidence room and storage areas.”
Gardner declined to comment to Patch about how Becker would have allegedly been able to steal 10 guns, more than $18,000 in cash, an Omega watch valued at $2,700 and narcotics worth more than $2,000 from evidence storage without anyone realizing it.
During the time when some of Becker’s alleged misdeeds were carried out, Gardner was serving in a joint role as police chief and borough manager. Some Patch users have questioned why Gardner did not provide more oversight. Gardner said the dual role did not limit his role in the police department.
“I was the chief 100 percent of the time,” Gardner said. “I was the borough manager too.”