HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Harrisburg Bureau of Police officer has been suspended without pay after allegedly attempting to purchase cocaine in Cumberland County.

The Cumberland County District Attorney’s office says Justin Taylor came to the county’s Drug Task Force’s attention when they executed a search warrant and learned an officer may be a customer of the person they were investigating.

Taylor was arrested after allegedly showing up at a designated time and place to purchase cocaine. According to a criminal complaint, officers observed Taylor arrive at a residence and retrieve two screw-top glass jars that contained a substance that resembled cocaine.

“It is extremely disappointing anytime we encounter an officer who is breaking the law,” said Cumberland County District Attorney Seán M. McCormack. “It is a complete betrayal by the officer of the trust the public placed in him to uphold the law, not break it. Personally, I remember teaching this officer when he was brand new at the police academy. I always stress when teaching new officers, the importance of holding themselves and fellow officers to high ethical standards.”

Court records show Taylor was arrested on Feb. 19 and charged with use/possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal attempt with intent to possess a controlled substance.

McCormack also credited the fine work of task force officers.  “I commend the officers of the Drug Task Force who conducted this investigation to ensure that this officer was quickly identified and arrested.”   

Taylor is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 6, 2023, before the Honorable Magisterial District Judge Kathryn H. Silcox.  

This is a developing story