Published on August 3rd, 2016 |0
APS investigation rebuts report of 30 stolen firearms; all accounted for
An earlier report that 30 guns had stolen from an Atlanta school official’s car has turned out to not be true. An investigation by Atlanta Public Schools has found that all its firearms accumulated over more than a decade have been accounted for.
The state is still investigating. But school officials say an anonymous tipster that made a call to the APS ethics hotline on June 14 gave them bad information. That call triggered a two-month hunt for all district guns and documentation concerning them.
The investigation apparently took so long because of disorganized records. The school district’s former procurement officer left in 2008, and the district changed its records-management system around that time.
School officials consulted what records they could find, including receipts for gun purchases. They also sought documentation from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and from weapon vendors. In the end, the district identified 113 guns and determined what happened to all of them, including those no longer in the district’s possession.
The reason the APS had all of those guns was that, like some large districts, it did arm part-time employees who worked security, augmenting Atlanta police even though the district did not have a police force.
Then, the district decided to replace the Atlanta Police Department officers, and established its own police department, which came into existence July 1. The school system purchased 90 more guns for the new police force.
Here’s what happened to the other 23: 17 have been added to new chief Ronald Applin’s arsenal, so he now has 107 guns; one other was stolen from the home of former security director Marquenta Sands Hall in 2008 (as executive director, she’s now Applin’s boss). She reported it to Atlanta police, and they recovered the weapon and held it as evidence.
That left five apparently missing guns, which it turned out the school system had returned to Smyrna Police Distributors, and the vendor had records showing $2,149 in credits.