M-16 rifle is missing from police inventory

Has any­one seen a Phil­adelphia po­lice-is­sued Colt M-16 rifle ly­ing around?

That’s a ques­tion Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey and fed­er­al in­vest­ig­at­ors are ask­ing after a re­cent audit of fire­arms at the city’s Po­lice Academy re­vealed that a fully-auto­mat­ic rifle is miss­ing from the in­vent­ory.

The po­lice de­part­ment ob­tained 1,356 of the rifles from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in Au­gust 2009. The de­part­ment’s “DLA Dis­pos­i­tion Ser­vices” unit at Bur­eau of Sup­plies and Sur­plus con­duc­ted the audit on April 9. The count came up one weapon short.

On April 15, the po­lice de­part­ment an­nounced that the weapons are stored at the Po­lice Academy on State Road in a 4x4x2-foot crate that weighs about 800 pounds. The crate is se­cured to pal­lets with met­al bands and sits in­side a locked, alarm-equipped room with­in the de­part­ment’s “gun vault.”

“There are a lim­ited num­ber of people that have au­thor­ized ac­cess to this se­cured area,” the po­lice de­part­ment said in a prin­ted state­ment.

In an ef­fort to loc­ate the rifle, the de­part­ment’s own in­vest­ig­at­ors and fed­er­al agents have in­spec­ted the Fire­arms Train­ing Unit, in­di­vidu­al lock­ers sur­round­ing the fire­arms unit, all spe­cial units and all patrol dis­tricts.

“No in­di­vidu­al, cur­rent or former em­ploy­ee, with ac­cess to these weapons is ex­empt from be­ing thor­oughly in­vest­ig­ated re­gard­ing this mat­ter,” the de­part­ment stated.

Ram­sey has ordered a full-scale audit on all city-owned fire­arms in use by the po­lice de­part­ment.

Call 215-686-TIPS or text to “PPD TIP” to re­port in­form­a­tion about the weapon. •• 

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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