Friday, July 1, 2016
[Marin County] San Rafael Police Department responds to report
For the most part, the San Rafael Police Department rolled along with suggestions made by the Marin County civil grand jury when it comes to keeping guns owned by police officers out of the hands of potential criminals.
But there were also a few discrepancies.
In May, the Marin County civil grand jury released “Police Firearm Security: Keeping Police Guns out of the Hands of Criminals,” a look at what should happen if a law enforcement officer loses his or her gun.
“Marin County law enforcement agencies reported few police firearms stolen during the last five years,” the report states. “Nevertheless, any firearm stolen is in the hands of a criminal.”
The grand jury found that such incidents rarely occur in Marin County, but still called for heightened safety measures to be established.
One recommendation made in the report was that the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and police departments should track and record all firearms that have been lost or stolen from law enforcement and personal vehicles.
SRPD Chief Diana Bishop countered the notion: “The recommendation will not be implemented; however, such tracking occurs in a different fashion. Currently, if a firearm were lost or stolen from a law enforcement vehicle or a personal vehicle the incident would be reported to the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. That jurisdiction is required to report and track the loss or theft of any firearm.”
Another grand jury recommendation was that the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and police departments should make public the number and circumstances of all firearms that have been lost or stolen from law enforcement and personal vehicles.
Again, Bishop countered, but based on logistics and facts. “The San Rafael Police Department is somewhat unique in that the department does not provide service handguns to its sworn members. Each officer purchases his or her own authorized handgun to use on duty. It is the personal property of the officer … if a firearm were lost or stolen from a law enforcement vehicle or personal vehicle the incident would be reported to the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred. Public access to that information would be available via a Public Records Act Request.”
Bishop said the SRPD would be going along with other grand jury suggestions, or has already done so.
Finally, the grand jury report suggested that all law enforcement personnel “should install lock boxes in all department vehicles and require that in the event it is necessary to leave a firearm in a vehicle, the firearm be secured in a lock box.”
Bishop wrote that, “Lockboxes have been ordered for department vehicles and will be installed within the next several months.”
June 30, 2016
Marinscope Community Newspapers
By Chris Rooney