John Burkhart turns himself

Former Lancaster County Drug Task Force chief detective John Burkhart leaves the Lancaster County Government building following his arraignment. Burkhart is accused of having stolen roughly $150,000 in civil forfeiture funds.

John E. Burkhart, a Penn Manor and Shippensburg graduate, joined the Lancaster city police in May 1988.

In 1991, Burkhart was one of two recipients of the Kauffman Lancaster Police Award, recognized for his “applied enthusiasm” in pursuing street-level drug dealers.

The other officer was Gregory Macey — who now works on the Drug Task Force and whose signature Burkhart is accused of forging on an evidence packet. 

In 1996, Burkhart was named city patrolman of the year. Fellow officers described him as “having a sixth sense in ferreting out illegal drug activity.”

His tenure was also marred by accusations that he assaulted two men and threatened one with a gun during 2002 rape investigation. 

In April 2003, the Pennsylvania Attorney General charged Burkhart with simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. 

Later that year, a jury acquitted him, and he returned to the city criminal investigations division.

He retired from the city in 2009. That December, then-District Attorney Craig Stedman named Burkhart head of the Drug Task Force.