The findings of an open records request to Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, and the Wisconsin State Patrol shows how and where guns have gone missing. Photo via FOX6 (Credit Meghan Dwyer)
The findings of an open records request to Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wisconsin State Patrol shows how and where officers’ guns have gone missing. Photo via FOX6 (Credit Meghan Dwyer)

 

Back in December, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn voiced what he thought was the root of his city’s violence: Wisconsin’s concealed carry law.

“Since that law has passed, almost every single year, the number of crime guns seized by this department has gone up and the time-to-crime on our most frequently used weapons has decreased,” Flynn stated. “Now that’s correlation not causation, but it’s a pretty strong correlation.”

Perhaps he should stop worrying about us, the law-abiding citizens of Wisconsin, and focus on his own department.

Fox6 Milwaukee has obtained an open records report

An open records request submitted to the Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wisconsin State Patrol shows 27 weapons, including guns, tasers and pepper spray have been lost or are missing.

Police officers accidentally left their guns everywhere — from the hood of their car to the back of a toilet, according to the records.

One officer, while on a hunting trip, accidentally placed his gun on the hood of his truck and drove away, not realizing his weapon had fallen off. He retraced his steps in the forest, but never found the gun.

Other officers secured their guns in the trunk of their cars while they went to get a drink after work, and their cars were broken into.

“I wanted to do the right thing and not carry my weapon on my person where I was going to the tavern to have an alcoholic beverage with my friend. I thought I was securing my weapon in the trunk of my car in a highly well lit area,” one officer said.

“One of the nightmares that law enforcement officers often have, whether awake or asleep, is that their firearm is taken and they or their partner is killed with it,” says Jeff Smidt, a retired 32-year veteran of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department.

Smidt is now a training coordinator for the new Wisconsin Firearms Training Center. He teaches people about gun safety and the importance of securing your weapons.

“All firearms should be secured — but because the nature of the business, you find that you’re carrying your weapon off duty quite frequently. Law enforcement officers can be victims of crime as well. Just because they have a badge on doesn’t mean they’re not going to be victimized,” Smidt said.

Fox6 Investigation

So far, police believe only one gun has been linked to any crime. That gun, which was stolen from an undercover Milwaukee police vehicle, was allegedly used in “a lot of downtown Milwaukee robberies”.

Even if it was only used in one robbery in downtown Milwaukee, that’s still one more crime than has been committed by concealed carry permit holding Wisconsin residents. Making Ed Flynn more responsible for crime in Milwaukee than concealed carry permit holders. Of course, that’s correlation not causation, but it’s a pretty strong correlation.