PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A former Philadelphia police officer pleaded guilty to using a Porsche he confiscated during a narcotics investigation for his stepdaughter’s prom. Police say surveillance video from April 2019 shows 47-year-old James Coolen driving up to the parking lot where the vehicle was being held as evidence and driving away in the Porsche.
Two days later, the Porsche was returned to the lot.
An investigation was opened two weeks later after the Internal Affairs Unit received information from the bureau about the possible theft or unauthorized use of the vehicle.
Investigators found Coolen’s fingerprints on the Porsche’s GPS navigation system, doorbell security surveillance video from Coolen’s next door neighbor’s house that showed the Porsche parked at his home, data recovered from the GPS system that indicated Coolen used the vehicle for his stepdaughter’s prom and another police officer who said that he saw Coolen drive away in the Porsche.
“James Coolen betrayed the public trust and his fellow Philadelphia Police officers when he improperly and illegally used a 2018 Porsche Cayenne SUV, that was impounded as evidence in a case that he was assigned to, as transportation for his stepdaughter’s prom,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Former Officer Coolen has since turned himself in, resigned from the Police Department, and taken responsibility for his crime. It is never easy, but it is always right, to hold a friend or colleague accountable when they do wrong. I thank the PPD Internal Affairs Unit and my office’s Special Investigation Unit for their hard work in bringing this case to a just conclusion.”
Coolen resigned from the Philadelphia Police Department before surrendering to authorities on Oct. 3, 2019.
He pleaded guilty on Thursday and was sentenced to 12 months of probation.