A bowl hair cut, peering eyes and scores of people running all around nervous and looking exhausted.
And you thought the title reference was about Justin Bieber’s 105 minutes of fame adolescent screams where he tries to prove he’s just a regular guy in 3D!
Unfortunately, I’m talking about the recovery rate of weapons stolen from or lost by law enforcement.
There it was in my inbox… a newsflash from Oregon State Police — an OSP detective conducting a follow up investigation who went into a unisex restroom at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and placed their handgun (a Glock model 22(Black)) in its holster inside the restroom. The detective left the restroom without the holstered handgun, but didn’t notice it missing until after leaving the hospital.
If we lived in South Africa no one would even take note of this incident. According to this report, the police in that country lost more than 3,000 firearms in 2010. So many in fact, that the police have wittingly or unwittingly become a major supplier of weapons to the country’s criminal underworld.
So, I won’t get my panties in a bunch, because I know mistakes happen. You may even remember back in 2000 a Gresham policeman had 4 guns, including a MP-5 machine gun stolen from his home. He was a member of the department’s Special Emergency Response Team who was allowed to keep automatic weapons and the thieves targeted his place. They were caught.
Timing is everything and it’s not been a stellar start in the new year for law enforcement. We have this lost gun/rest room incident. Add to that the 16-year veteran police lieutenant from Redmond (Larry Prince) arrested in Coos Bay accused of selling firearms and other stolen items while he ran the armory. And then we have the 3 deadly encounters between military vets and law enforcement over the last 5 months. Anthony McDowell. Thomas Higginbotham. Nikkolas Lookabill.
Not to be influenced, the ever thinner Oregonian thought it was perfect timing for a pro-law enforcement editorial proclaiming that the time has come to admit that “we” made a mistake in 1980 and for the public to fix it… by voting for a constitutional amendment to restore primary funding of the state police to the gas tax. If approved in November it would redirect $93M in gas taxes to fund OSP patrols over the next two years. Most ballsy given all the negative news on law enforcement! I half expect Portlandia‘s dreamy and absurd major Sam Adams to hold a press briefing any moment to announce a ban on high-capacity magazines and proclaim how that will prevent crime from ever happening again.
Here’s, my question… would any of that $93M go toward training officers or is this all about a ‘show of force’ with a bunch more shiny new “radar’ed up” Dodge Chargers and officers decked out in SWAT attire looking to pull over motorcyclists doing 7MPH over the speed limit in rural Baker County? Yeah, I’m still bitter about that one! How is it funded after year two? Is it always an ever increasing burden on the few(er) employed people in the state to fund rising costs for PERS, health plans, benefits, etc.,? Does this make sense to claim there is 365x24x7 coverage in remote parts of the state?
But I’ve really gotten off track now and will step down from the soap box.
If you find the missing gun you are encouraged to contact Sgt. Jon Harrington at: 503.731.3020 ext. 258.
Photo courtesy of Glock.