MEMPHIS, TN— Guns, drugs, money, and who knows what else are missing from the Memphis Police Property and Evidence Room. The city's internal auditor released a report detailing problems from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 but errors were found that dated as far back as 2006. The auditor says overall MPD’s property and evidence room is at "satisfactory level" but those "deficiencies" found in the system hurt the department's integrity.
You would think having security guards and surveillance cameras in place, things from the Memphis Police Department's evidence room wouldn't go missing. Well, they did.
"I wasn't too surprised,” said city councilwoman Janis Fullilove.
She requested the audit after former Police Director Larry Godwin retired in 2011.
"I had been told by some police officers during the time Godwin was there that there were some discrepancies going on within the department, especially with the property in the evidence room,” Fullilove stated.
According to Leon Pattman, Director of the City's Internal Auditing, auditors identified 10 user accounts that had "improper access privileges" to delete entries. Two of those accounts were generic which means there is no way to track who deleted records. On top of that, the report stated evidence taken in before 2006 was never entered in the computer.
"We don't know what was taken. It could've been guns, it could've been money, it could've been drugs, whatever, there's nothing there to say what was taken or how it was taken,” said Fullilove.
Auditors also identified 568 records that were missing or gaps in record sequence in the system. Two unknown user accounts deleted 853 records. The main problem: too many people had the capability to press "delete."
"They did not find a glitch in the system. What made them suspect however was the fact that there were people in place there who can go into those computers and take out information and that information could never be found, however if there had been an audit trail that wouldn't have taken place,” Fullilove told abc24 news.
This is the second time MPD has been audited in the last year. The city launched an audit of the police department’s Organized Crime Unit in 2011.
ABC24 News tried reaching former Police Director Larry Godwin and Director Toney Armstrong for comment but we were told both are out of town.