Jailed APD Sergeant is on paid leave

Local News

Altoona Police Sergeant Matt Starr is facing 10 felony charges related to theft by deception. 

Some of the alleged victims of Starr’s actions include the city of Altoona and local businesses. According to the criminal complaint, Starr used false information and a company he invented to get Community Development Block Grant money for training equipment, then pocketed thousands of dollars in overcharges. Police say he would use that money on gambling.

Starr is also accused of attempting to get money from Because We Care Altoona through a donation from Scott Electric. However, the organization got suspicious when Starr insisted the check be made out to him.

At the Altoona City Council meeting Wednesday evening, the answer to any question regarding Sgt. Starr has been “no comment” due to it being a personnel matter. However, WTAJ has learned from Chief Janice Freehling that Starr is currently on paid administrative leave.
Among the charges Starr is facing, he is being accused of claiming close to 200 fraudulent overtime hours that cost the city close to $9,000. The complaint claims that Starr was spending those hours gambling. The complaint also revealed that it was Starr that was allowed to approve his own overtime. In regards to that process, Chief Freehling said an internal investigation is ongoing. 
The complaint also says that an APD officer told state police that Starr would show up late and leave early and smelled of alcohol. That officer in that interview related Starr to a part time employee for the past 18 months. 

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