Law enforcement agencies suspended from federal program for missing or stolen guns
By Elicia Dover
(KATV)-Protests in Ferguson, Missouri drew national attention to local police departments for having military gear such as assault rifles, armored vehicles and even grenade launchers, passed down from the nation's defense agencies. Since the program's inception many local law enforcement agencies have been suspended from the program. One of those reasons is because the equipment has been lost or stolen. "Three agencies, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, Judsonia Police Department and the Woodruff County Sheriff's Office," said James Ray of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Support Office. All three of those agencies were suspended for misplaced or stolen guns. The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office was suspended for a stolen M-14 and for the destruction of a night vision scope. They didn't return our request for comment. The Woodruff County Police Department, with three missing shot guns, did respond to Channel 7 News' request for comment. Though the current sheriff wasn't in office at the time, he says they've instated new rules to make sure guns don't walk away, also saying he'd hate if one of those guns ended up in criminal hands. "That would be a very terrible tragic event," said Chief Deputy Joe Akins, "that an agency would be held accountable for." The Judsonia Police Department says its missing weapons are still under investigation. The law enforcement support office says some agencies do get reinstated like Independence County who had an M-16 stolen. "They recovered that shortly afterwards," Ray said. The Palestine Police Department also had a Humvee stolen, but that has since been recovered and it was also reinstated.
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