ViewPoint: Seen Shunell's gun?

August 16, 2007

If you heard a police officer kept their department issued handgun in the trunk of their car, in a shoe box, for safe keeping, and then lost it, you might think you were hearing about an episode of Andy and Barney in Mayberry, but this is no laughing matter.

An Albany Police Recruit did just that, and then lied about it to her supervisors.

First she claimed that the gun must have been stolen by those working at the police compound where her car was parked. But under questioning, she broke down and admitted she had lost the gun.

We would call that giving false information to a police officer, and the false reporting of a crime. She was not charged.

She was instead given a written reprimand for improper conduct and careless handling of equipment. This is signed by her Captain, and Chief James Younger.

You would naturally ask yourself if she would lie to her own fellow officers, would she lie about you, or evidence against you? What credibility will she have in court proceedings, where we are trying to prosecute criminals?

Can we agree that police officers must be held to a higher standard and that this behavior must be considered a deal-breaker?

Chief Younger, please tell us we are not so desperate for police officers that we must settle for this conduct by our new recruits.