Washington-- Your confidence in the people paid to protect you when you visit one of DC's monuments or memorials might fade when you hear this next story.
A new report says U.S. Park Police cannot seem to keep track of their guns.
We are not talking about 10 or 20, we are talking about more than 1,400. The report alleges that if some were stolen, Park Police might never even know.
We read through a 19-page report released today from the Office of the Inspector General and, in short, it is a little unsettling to hear the words "inaction," "indifference," and "lackadaisical" to describe the people who lead the police paid to keep us safe in our parks and at our monuments and memorials. But those are exactly the words used by this watchdog agency.
It all started with a tip that Park Police couldn't account for Government-issued military-style rifles, and that weapons no one could find, could have been taken by officers for their own personal use.
An unannounced inspection turned up more than 1,400 extra, unassigned handguns, rifles, shotguns, including almost 500 military-style automatic and semiautomatic rifles. The shocking bottom line from the report, "evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing."
When interviewed regarding the rule that limits firearm acquisition to only the minimum needed for effective law enforcement, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers said she was "unaware of whether this requirement was being followed."
The U.S. Park Police referred us to the National Park Service, who didn't return our calls by airtime. This report doesn't just cover park police here, but also around the country.