- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2013

Poor management and shoddy oversight have led the U.S. Park Police to lose track of hundreds of rifles, handguns and machine guns, a watchdog agency said.

“We found that staff at all levels — from firearms program managers to their employees — had no clear idea of how many weapons they maintained due to incomplete and poorly managed inventory controls,” investigators with the U.S. Interior Department’s inspector general’s office said, in United Press International. “As a result, we discovered hundreds of handguns, rifles and shotguns not accounted for on official USPP inventory records.”

Conditions were ripe for theft, the watchdog report found. And records are so skewed that the Park Police may never be able to discern whether weapons were actually stolen, UPI reported.

One finding: An estimated 1,400 weapons that were supposed to have been destroyed were actually in agency storage, UPI said. Another finding: Nearly 200 handguns given to the agency by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were discovered in a building in Washington — though no records exist about their location. And one more: Eighteen pistols and rifles that are unaccounted for could have gone missing for “decades,” the report said.

“This report … underscores the decade-long theme of inaction and indifference by USPP leadership and management at all levels,” Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said in the report, UPI said. “Commanders, up to and including the chief of police, have a lackadaisical attitude toward firearms management.”

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