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Florida police officer arrested for pretending to be on a military assignment

Arrested (Oregon Department of Transportation/WikiCommons)

A Delray Beach Police officer has been arrested on official misconduct and grand theft charges after a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation found she lied on her timesheets when she claimed she had to miss work because of military leave when in fact she wasn’t.

Jacaria Stringer, 25, of Rivera Beach turned herself in Tuesday.

The state law enforcement agency began its investigation in September at the request of the Delray Beach Police Department after people there questioned the accuracy of several of Stringer’s timesheets. Agents say Stringer claimed to be on military leave for 21 days from March 2020 to August 2021, but after investigation, they found she did not actually attend military training on the days listed.

Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the state law enforcement agency, said Stringer had previously served in the U.S. Army Reserves but was separated because of unexcused absences from the required training.

Stringer was paid more than $6,500 for time she claimed to be on military leave, Plessinger said. Agents found that she falsified at least 21 Delray Beach Police Department timesheets.

Stringer was hired on Feb. 3, 2020, and has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 18, 2021, according to the Delray Beach Police Department. Her annual salary is $55,450.

“The police department’s internal investigation of Officer Stringer has been  [halted] pending the outcome of the criminal investigation from the State Attorney’s Office. Once that investigation has concluded, the administrative investigation will proceed,” Delray Beach Police Chief Javaro Sims said.

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