DECATUR — A narcotics detective with the Decatur Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit was arrested Thursday on charges of official misconduct and theft of more than $500 for stealing money related to his work and creating false documents to cover up the thefts.
Matthew A. Knuckles, 44, resigned from the department Friday, according to a news release from Deputy Chief James Chervinko.
Knuckles, an 18-year veteran of the department, confessed to taking “work-related” funds, police said.
“Knuckles admitted he had created false documents to cover up the missing funds and that he had taken the money for his personal use,” an arrest affidavit by Lt. Cody Moore of Criminal Investigations stated.
“The incident is disheartening, but whenever a police officer commits criminal misconduct, jeopardizes the agency’s integrity and violates the public trust, it will be dealt with by my administration swiftly,” Police Chief Todd Walker said in a news release.
The theft of the money occurred between June and January, Moore wrote. The value of the thefts was estimated at more than $500, which makes it a felony.
The department became aware of a possible misuse of departmental funds on Feb. 6, according to the affidavit.
Knuckles was booked into the Macon County Jail about 5 p.m. Thursday. His bail was set at $5,000 by Associate Judge Timothy Steadman on Friday morning. He posted $500 cash bond Friday afternoon and was released. He is due in circuit court March 15 for his arraignment.