Report: Guns, radios missing from police department

Associated Press

Memphis — A police-issued shotgun, two handguns, at least three police radios and a long list of evidence are unaccounted for at a small Michigan police department, according to a report from an outside agency.

The missing items were just some of the observations in a report prepared by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office while it oversaw the Memphis department from mid-June to mid-August, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported.

The review, obtained by the newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act request, recommended that the city about 40 miles northeast of Detroit report the guns as stolen, locate or terminate service to missing radios and give priority attention to the department’s evidence room.

The department of nine part-time officers and one full-time officer has had four chiefs in five years, the most recent chief starting in September.

Scott Sheets was demoted from full-time police chief to part-time officer in June and filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city in August. Kevin Sommers was hired to replace Sheets and the sheriff’s department oversaw Memphis police in the interim.

Sommers said he met with the sheriff department shortly after being hired and reviewed some of its observations. He said the police department is trying to find the missing guns, has recovered one of the missing radios and discontinued service to the others.

“There are some things that we have begun to work on and we’re looking to rectify some problems,” Sommers said.

More than a dozen items listed as being in the evidence room were missing, including nunchucks, a knife, two rifles and two shotguns logged on the inventory between 1985 and 1997. Sommers said the department is reviewing records and plans to update its evidence processing.

“We’re finding individual cases where evidence was not handled properly,” Sommers said. “It has not been a widespread thing.”