A 17-year veteran narcotics officer has been suspended while police investigate whether he stole $2.4 million worth of pure cocaine from the department's property room.

Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said the unidentified officer had the authority to sign out cocaine from the room. She said he is suspected of replacing six kilograms, about 13.2 pounds, of uncut cocaine with another substance and keeping the drug.

The officer, who has not been charged, was suspended Wednesday with pay pending a criminal and department investigation, authorities said. His pay status will be reviewed before the Board of Police Commissioners.

The FBI and police department's internal affairs unit are investigating.

"I want to emphasize that this individual turned his back on the police department and the public he swore to protect," Bully-Cummings said. "His actions do not reflect the spirit of the other officers who do their duty every day."

She said the criminal case in which the cocaine was evidence had ended before police discovered the theft. Police typically hold evidence until the conclusion of the appeals process.