Wednesday, 15 May 2019 20:05

Hamlet Police Department suspended from federal program

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HAMLET — Federal officials say the Hamlet Police Department failed to comply with requirements regarding weapons acquired through the Law Enforcement Support Services Program.

City Manager Jonathan Blanton issued a statement Wednesday saying the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, on behalf of U.S. Department of Defense Logistics Agency, visited the department on May 9 and informed city officials that the department “did not return three weapons that were requested and inadvertently submitted five incorrect weapons to federal offices.”

“Subsequently, the city was informed that the Hamlet Police Department is suspended from utilizing the LESS program in the future,” Blanton said. 

The LESS program provides local law enforcement agencies with equipment such as weapons and vehicles and the three weapons in question were shipped out on Friday, May 10, Blanton added. 

According to documents obtained through a public records request, Joey Raynor, state point of contact for the federal program, sent multiple emails to Capt. Marc Terry asking for tracking information when the weapons were shipped.

On Nov. 14, Raynor sent an email with two federal forms that had to be filled out and approved before the weapons could ship.

Raynor sent another email on Dec. 17 saying a previously required form had been approved and he attached an ATF form along with instructions on how to ship the weapons.

That email identifies the weapons as M14s and M1911s.

The weapons were supposed to be double-boxed and shipped within 30 calendar days of receiving final approval for shipping.

Raynor sent emails to Terry on Jan. 16 and 29, and Feb. 6 and 12 asking for the tracking information.

Terry responded with a tracking number on Feb. 13, apologizing for taking so long.

“The City is currently working to comply with all requests and requirements of LESS and Chief McMasters is optimistic that we will soon be in compliance with all necessary agencies involved,” Blanton said.