Internal Police Audit Prompts Gun Policy Changes

An internal audit at the Columbia (Missouri) Police Department has brought about some changes in their firearms policies. The audit shows several incidents where officers did not follow the proper procedures.

Columbia police officers have been using weapons that should have been in their evidence room or returned to their rightful owners.

A shotgun recovered 6 years ago was used as a police weapon.

The audit shows that shotgun was stolen during a Boone County burglary.

Police returned the shotgun to the owner.

The audit also shows 2 shotguns and 1 shotgun barrel are missing from the department’s property room.

Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said, “Officers will no longer have the authority to, more or less, intercept a gun that is going into the property room. The property, that we didn’t know who it belonged to, was getting converted to department use. We just shouldn’t be doing that. We are not doing that anymore. That’s the biggest change.”

The audit produced another new policy that requires a judge’s order for any weapon with an unknown owner before it can become police department property.

—Written by Mark Slavitt,
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