A report released Monday shows that "sensitive" items like guns and bulletproof vests are missing from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
An audit revealed DPS had 11 guns, ammunition and 39 bulletproof vests stolen from right under its nose.
“I’ve never seen this before,” said Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera. “These are very sensitive items that you don't want to be missing. We believe they need to really step up their safeguarding procedures."
A report released by the Louisiana Auditor stated not only are the sensitive items unaccounted for, but the rules weren’t followed.
“The law requires anytime there's a misappropriation or theft, that it’s reported to my office and to the district attorney,” Purpera added.
DPS Secretary Jimmy Leblanc said the weapons were, in fact, stolen from the vehicles of probation and parole officers and were reported to police. However, he also said his office was never aware of the law mandating him to report stolen items to the district attorney or auditor’s office. He added the reporting process will now change.
Leblanc said he disagrees with the terms used in the report like “misappropriated,” but does realize the problem with sensitive items coming up missing.
“We are researching options and resources to improve the ability of our probation and parole officers to secure weapons while in the field by using lock boxes in their vehicles,” Leblanc said in a written statement. “Probation and parole officers are not uniformed law enforcement officers and are therefore, often required to secure equipment in their vehicles."
While the audit was conducted over the past year, the disappearance of the items dates back to 2010.
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