Department also looking for night-vision goggles
By Jack Johnson, Boulder City Review
Boulder City Police Department has misplaced a semi-automatic rifle, city officials have confirmed.
The Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle was discovered missing during a department inventory shortly after the City Council’s Dec. 11 vote to have the police department audited, City Attorney Dave Olsen said.
” Police Chief Thomas Finn heard the council was interested in going ahead with an audit, and that’s when he contacted people and asked, ‘Let’s do an inventory,’” Olsen said.
Olsen said the inventory also revealed that two pairs of expensive night-vision goggles were missing.
Finn did not confirm that a rifle or goggles were missing or provide a requested interview, but he did offer a brief statement.
“I have tasked my four range instructors to verify the location of every city-owned weapon, and the search is ongoing,” he said in a text message Tuesday. “I expect their audit to conclude this week.”
Finn also stated that officers Aaron Johnson, Mike Daniel, Thomas Perkins and Chadd Richner are responsible for the custody and control of the police department’s weapons.
City Manager David Fraser also confirmed that a rifle is missing and said the whereabouts of the rifle is being investigated internally.
The AR-15 is the civilian equivalent of the military’s M16 assault rifle. It recently gained notoriety as the same style rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
Mayor Roger Tobler said Monday he had been informed last week by then-acting City Manager Scott Hansen that a rifle was missing, but he did not know the details.
Hansen, who was city manager from Dec. 12 to Jan. 13, refrained from providing much information about the missing rifle to the Boulder City Review. But he did state that procedures at the police station were recently changed to improve the chain of custody of weapons.
Recently retired police sergeant and former Boulder City Police Protective Association President Dan Jennings said some officers are issued their own AR-15, and others are assigned to vehicles. However, he could not provide information about who was responsible for the rifle in question.
Jennings said that the missing rifle had been reported to the National Crime Information Center database, so Boulder City Police could be informed if it were discovered by another agency.
He could not speak on behalf of other officers, but Jennings said he would be concerned as a citizen about the missing rifle.
“I would be concerned as a citizen, because if the police department is supposed to have the AR-15 and they don’t have it, then who has it?” he said.
Additionally, a firearm belonging to a Boulder City Police officer was stolen from a private vehicle in Henderson this past weekend, Hansen said.