Two cops get probation for anthrax 'joke'

| 10/23/2002

Two ex-Philadelphia police officers who used their squad car's computer to send an off-color joke about anthrax to other police cruisers were convicted of misdemeanor charges Friday. The pair initially denied having sent the message and made up a story that someone had used their computer while the car was unattended.

Officers Gina McFadden and Dawn Norman were sentenced to probation, according to a published report. They also have been fired from the department.

The profanity-laced message, sent over the department's computer system in reply to a bulletin about a stolen tractor-trailer containing hazmat, read in part, "We don't care ... We can't stand America. We have anthrax in our car."

McFadden was convicted of unlawful use of a computer and making a false report to law enforcement. She was sentenced to two years probation and fined $2,500. Norman was convicted of making a false report to law enforcement and was sentenced to six months' probation.