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'Coffee, Corruption, Donuts': Cake celebrating cop's years of service uses decoration mocking police. Bakery says it was unintentional.

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Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

Tina Jones wanted to give her friend — a Philadelphia police officer — a cake to help him celebrate 25 years of service to the department, so she decided to have a local bakery decorate it for the occasion, WPVI-TV reported.

It was a pretty simple design: "Happy 25th Anniversary" written to the officer in blue atop white frosting, his badge number — and a Philadelphia police badge with the motto, "Honor, Integrity, Service," the station said.

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

What happened next?

After Jones got the cake from the Bakery House in Bryn Mawr, a Philly suburb, her officer friend was about to bring it into his office to share with colleagues when Jones noticed the three words on the badge were a tad different, WPVI noted.

The badge motto instead read, "Coffee, Corruption, Donuts," the station said.

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

"I wanted to cry because I'm like, 'I can't believe they did this,'" Jones later told WPVI. "That's so humiliating to put on someone's cake who is serving 25 years and in a not-so-easy job."

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

What did the bakery have to say?

Sandy Stauffer, owner of the Bakery House, told the station the offending badge decoration was used by mistake.

"My decorator is beyond upset; she's been crying all weekend, we all have been because it's mortifying," Stauffer noted to WPVI. "We are not the kind of business that would ever, ever disrespect [police]. Everyone should be respected; this was not done on purpose."

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

Stauffer explained to the station there were over 100 orders the decorator needed to complete, and Jones' order was near the end of the pile that day.

Image source: WPVI-TV video screenshot

But when the decorator saw the image of the badge Jones provided, the decorator thought it appeared too blurry to look good on a cake, WPVI reported. Stauffer explained to the station that the decorator then went online and found a crisper, clearer image of what appeared to be the same badge.

However, the chosen replacement image instead read, "Coffee, Corruption, Donuts."

Philly Voice called attention to the bakery's Facebook page apology posted Monday — which was not online Thursday afternoon — and the outlet said the apology indicated the decorator "did not see the fine print" on the badge.

The bakery posted an explanation Wednesday that includes more detail:

What we didn't realize was that the writing at the bottom of the badge had been altered on the Internet. Unfortunately neither the decorator nor the employee that boxed the cake noticed the alteration. On top of that the customer was shown the cake, and she didn't notice the issue with the image, either. Regrettably the cake made it to the table at the party for the officer. At some point a guest noticed the writing on the badge.

This was a horrific oversight on our part. The decorator of the cake is completely devastated. She has been with the bakery for several years, this is her career and she takes it very seriously, as everyone who works here does ... Many of our customers are members of the police force, and our staff has family members in the police and veterans of the armed forces. We respect their sacrifices and value everything they do for the community.

Stauffer added to WCAU that her staff is "tired" and has been "pushed because of the staffing situation," and it was an honest mistake.

"This bakery house respects what [police] do for their living, their job; they do a great job, and I'm sorry ... please don't ever think otherwise that we don't respect the police," she told WPVI.

Jones told WPVI the bakery offered her a full refund, but she declined: "I didn't want the money back ... I knew if I accepted the money back, it [would be] like, 'It was OK what you did,' and it wasn't."

Anything else?

According to Philly Voice, the same altered badge image was used by Philadelphia news station WCAU, which "mistakenly" ran it on the 5 p.m. news Feb. 11 for a story about city employees, including five police officers, who died from COVID-19.

The station's use of the altered badge had Commissioner Danielle Outlaw tweeting that while she accepted WCAU's apology, "mistakes such as these can tear away at our legitimacy, & can also diminish the work of our employees who risk their safety every day ..."

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