US Park Police lost track of huge supply of weapons, report says
From the Trenches World Report
June 29th, 2013
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The U.S. Park Police has lost track of a huge supply of handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to a report released Thursday on the law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding theÂ NationalÂ Mall and critical American landmarks.
In the scathing report, the inspector generalâ€™s office of the Department ofÂ InteriorÂ faults staff at the agency for having no idea how manyÂ weaponsÂ they control and says the department has no clear policies or procedures for investigating missingÂ weapons. The office said top managers, including the police chief, have shown a â€ślackadaisical attitude toward firearms management.â€ť Â
â€śHistorical evidence indicates that this indifference is a product of years of inattention toÂ administrativeÂ detail and management principles,â€ť
deputy inspector general MaryKendallÂ wrote to Jonathan Jarvis, the director of theÂ NationalÂ Park Service, in a letter that accompanies the report.
While surveying Park Police field office armories, investigators found more than 1,400 extra and unassignedÂ weaponsÂ that were intended to be destroyed. They also found 198 handguns that were transferred from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and stored in an operations facility firearms room without being recorded in anÂ inventory system.
Investigators also found that an officer who had been detailed to President Obamaâ€™s inauguration in January retained a semi-automatic rifle without permission and stored it at his home. Another officer stored a shotgun at hisÂ home inÂ San Francisco without permission, according to the report.
â€śWe found credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact ifÂ weaponsÂ were missing,â€ťÂ KendallÂ wrote.
The report, which was first reported by The Washington Post, concluded that the agency failed to fully investigateÂ weaponsÂ it could not account for, including 18 pistols, shotguns, and rifles that were entered into aÂ nationalÂ databaseÂ as missing or stolen.
As recently as April 2013, two automatic rifles were discovered during a firearms search at the agencyâ€™s aviation unit for which officials had no prior knowledge, the report states.
The watchdog agency said its report was triggered by an anonymous tip suggesting that the Park Police could not account for government-issued military-styleÂ weapons.
A spokesman for the agency did not immediately return anÂ emailÂ seeking comment, and an evening shift commander said he hadnâ€™t seen the report and couldnâ€™t discuss it.
The report also includes 10 recommendations to improve firearms management.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read more:Â http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/28/us-park-police-lost-track-huge-supply-weapons-report-says/#ixzz2XYWPANOxÂ
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