A retired police officer in Springfield, Massachusetts pleaded innocent at his court arraignment Monday to charges he stole more than $400,000 from the police department evidence room.
Kevin Burnham, who for almost 30 years was the Springfield police officer responsible for safekeeping evidence in drug cases, is accused of stealing cash from evidence envelopes in more than 170 cases during a five year period starting in 2009 and ending the day he retired in July 2014, according to an investigation by the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
Burnham pleaded innocent Monday to multiple counts of larceny and was freed on personal recognizance.
Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, in a news conference streamed by WWLP 22 News, said he was saddened by the incident.
" I've been a police officer in Springfield for 28 years and I can not remember anything of this magnitude happening in the history of this department," said Barbieri.
Barbieri said new procedures have been implemented to make the evidence room more secure from internal thefts. For one thing, cash is no longer stored in the evidence room, it goes to a bank.