Monday, July 18, 2011


Cops have a passionate love affair with their guns. I remember a cartoon illustrating this. It shows a woman lying naked in bed waiting for a man to make whoopee with her. Nearby was a police uniform folded over a chair. He is standing naked by a window with his back to her, wearing a gun belt with his holstered gun. She yells at him, “Alright, alright, you can wear the damn thing.”

That’s why I was dumbfounded when I read in Saturday’s Houston Chronicle that according to a 2010 Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report, DHS employees had 243 firearms lost or stolen between 2006 and 2008. Of those, 64 were lost because of circumstances beyond DHS's control — such as during an assault on an agent or officer — or despite having the weapons secured in safes or lock boxes.

But 74 percent, or 179 guns, were lost "because officers did not properly secure them," the report said. Officers left them in restrooms, vehicles and other public places, according to the DHSOIG report.

Even more astounding is the FBI inspector general’s 2007 report that the FBI lost 160 weapons from early 2002 through September 2005, including submachine guns and shotguns. It looks like we’ve been misled into believing that the FBI is America’s premier law enforcement agency. How in the fucking hell can you lose a submachine gun?

And then there is the Secret Service. C-dog, a PACOVILLA Corrections blog reader, wrote: The U.S. News and World Report did a piece on how many Secret Service agents lost their weapons, particularly in bars a few presidents ago. Nothing changes! To that I would add, if you’re going to lose your piece, a bar is as good a place as any.

During my thirteen years on the street, I can only recall at most a dozen instances in which an officer lost his gun. One of those incidents was somewhat comical. A district attorney investigator was transporting a prisoner from Palm Springs to Riverside when the man managed to jump out of the car near Whitewater. The investigator stopped the car and chased him into the desert. When the escapee ducked behind a scrub brush and turned to face his pursuer, the investigator stopped about 10 feet away and drew his revolver. But in a definite 'oh shit' moment, the gun slipped out of his hand and tumbled end over end right into the hands of the escapee. The investigator then said, “Can I have my gun back?” And surprise, surprise – the guy gave the gun back and surrendered.

I just don’t understand how DHS and the FBI managed to hire so many careless fucking idiots.

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