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Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office asking residents to help find lost rifle

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The Kalkaska County Sheriff’s department is asking for the public's help to find a missing piece of equipment. Officials said they are looking for a missing A-R fifteen rifle that has been lost for more than a month. 

 

Officials said the rifle was accidentally lost sometime between May 15 - May 20 when a deputy left his rifle on top of his car and then drove off. The deputy responsible didn’t report the gun missing until a week later. 

 

The Sheriff’s office didn’t release the information until this month. 

 

Michigan Sheriff’s Association Executive Director, Blaine Koops, said this type of situation doesn’t happen frequently, but accidents happen...even to him.

 

“It does happen. I can remember when I was a sheriff in Allegan county we had an identical situation. Fortunately for us, it was almost immediately recovered. This is a little different, but it does happen.”  

 

Koops said there is no set protocol for a missing gun situation. He says each sheriff’s department handles the situation in its own way. 

 

In Kalkaska, the sheriff decided to conduct an internal investigation to find the missing rifle. They canvassed the area and came up empty handed. Now they are enlisting the public’s help to try to find the missing weapon. 

 

Kalkaska Undersheriff,Dave Wagner said , “We sent out a press release in the attempt that if it was located by somebody honest then they would turn it in. And evidently it hasn’t been turned in and it hasn’t been an honest person because it has been picked up.” 

 

Wagner said the missing A-R fifteen has been added to a national registry. If the gun is ever found by any police agency, they will be able to trace it back to Kalkaska. 

 

Wagner said the officer who lost the gun has been disciplined, but he declined to say how. And the department has implemented stricter policies to prevent an incident like this from happening again. He didn't elaborate on what the new policies say.

 

Wagner said “It is a black eye for not just the Kalkaska Sheriff’s Department, but for law enforcement as a whole.”

 

He said if anyone has any information on the missing rifle, they should contact a nearby law enforcement agency or the Kalkaska Sheriff’s Department at (231) 258-8686.