Monday, October 29, 2007

Police knew details of missing guns

Albany chief has claimed no records of assault weapons illegally obtained by officers

ALBANY -- "Albany Police Department officials wrote a letter to the federal government four years ago saying the department had lost 12 machine guns that were part of an arsenal of assault weapons illegally purchased by dozens of officers in the mid-1990s.

The letter, which was sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington, D.C., was signed by then-Police Chief Robert Wolfgang. A copy was recently shared with the Times Union by a source with access to the department's records.

The letter confirms that top city police officials knew how many of the dangerous weapons had been secretly obtained through the department, and how many were gone. It also raises questions about why current Chief James W. Tuffey has made inconsistent statements about the issue at two recent City Council committee meetings.

On Oct. 8, after confirming information from law enforcement sources, the Times Union reported that an unknown number of the machine guns, which firearms experts said could now be worth thousands of dollars each, were never recovered by the department.

The missing guns are still registered to the police department. By buying them through the department, officers were able to obtain the restricted weapons at sharply discounted, tax-exempt prices. They are automatic weapons and were available for sale only to police agencies and military units."

Okay, we get the picture. Day after day in city after city, state after state, the most felonious individuals licensed to carry firearms are members of law enforcement. Case closed, Katie bar the door, lights out. And, day after day, yadda yadda, these very same crooks get leniency when you or I would be serving hard time.

Thats the biz. The situation is despicable and isn't going to take a change for the best because somehow, someway, sometime, law enforcement officers were granted the status of uber-citizen and elevated far beyond our powers to add or detract.

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