Syracuse University’s Top Cop’s Statement on Lost Shotguns

Syracuse University's Department of Public Safety Chief Maldonando (courtesy news.syr.edu)

Syracuse University Department of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado [above] issued the following statement after several of his officers lost four shotguns off the back of a truck on the way back from training [quote via cnycentral.com]

In October DPS officers took part in a firearms training session in a rural area of Onondaga County. As the officers exited the facility and were driving in a DPS pickup truck, two cases holding four unloaded 12 gauge shotguns, similar to waterfowl guns, fell out of the back of the truck. After stopping a few miles later the officers realized this and immediately notified the State Police. An extensive search of the route taken along with a canvasing of houses in the rural area of the incident, however . . .

the firearms were not located. This matter remains an open case with State Police and DPS.

The University and DPS takes this matter very seriously. An internal investigation and review was immediately conducted, resulting in disciplinary action imposed on the officer responsible for securing the firearms. In addition, DPS underwent a thorough review of relevant protocols to ensure the firearms transportation and storage procedures and practices are as strong and comprehensive as possible.

[h/t KL]

comments

  1. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Somebody just got a small collection of possible tactical shotties…

    1. avatar Steve says:

      Sadly, they’re probably less than legal barrel length because PD is special somehow, thus each one is a federal felony on top of it.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        They can always get a stock replacement barrel.

        Besides, those are perfect shotties to bury with a supply of ammo…

      2. Would that resemble a “waterfowl gun”?

        1. avatar Anonymoose says:

          Both the people who wrote this article and the people who they’re writing it for probably have no idea what the difference between a 14″ 870, a 30″ duck gun, and a 24″ deer gun are, besides one is scary, black, and only allowed for police (who use them to terrorize minorities anyway).

        2. avatar Vv ind says:

          “Waterfowl gun” lemme guess they we’re DPS BPS’s

  2. avatar Brentonadams says:

    No he says they were duck guns right in the article.

    Quack quack

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      Just like a select-fire M4 is a “highly suitable personal defense weapon” for police, military, and government employees, but semiauto AR15 is “a weapon of mass killing” in the hands of a non-police civilian. Really weird how firearms suddenly and drastically change personality when they switch hands.

      1. avatar tdgrafton says:

        Reminds me of princess bride; no my ar really fights with its right hand….

      2. Beat me to the punch. Funny how tactical shotguns are “similar to water fowl guns”, but HOLY SMOKES AN AR-15 IS A MASS BABY KILLER. Never mind the fact it’s the rifle of choice for many hunters and law enforcement.

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    Mine nearly fell out of my police pick-up, on the way to their firey burial at sea.

    Maybe the officers took them home because they were afraid of confiscation?

  4. avatar pod says:

    Something something only police and the military….

  5. avatar Hal says:

    “four unloaded 12 gauge shotguns, similar to waterfowl guns”

    Nice of Syracuse U. to subsidize their campus cops’ interest in duck hunting.

    1. If I had lost those guns and they put out a statement, the very same guns would be described as “semi automatic assault 12 gauge long guns with a tactical stock and visibility obscuring coating. Loaded or unloaded not determined.”

      1. avatar lionsfan54 says:

        this, yes! Totally. I also picked up on those little phrases they threw in there to make it seem like not a big deal

      2. avatar Joe R. says:

        Fully automatic military-grade assault rifles, that were capable of shooting shotgun shells. The types of weapons that Chicagoan’s read about shootings happening in all of the states with no gun laws.

        1. Firearms only allowed to be held by police and military according to the Constitution.

  6. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    Interesting. University Department of Public Safety? And they are armed up. So it’s campus police… So we have beat cops, sheriff, state troopers, DPS, add in to that DHS, FBI, TSA, there sure are a lot of state agencies out there tasked with serving and protecting us. No doubt I forgot a few.

    So look at the Univ. DPS; “The Department employs 42 Public Safety Officers and 14 supporting Community Services Officers who are stationed around campus and patrol the surrounding community.”

    Nearly 60 warm bodies just for Syracuse alone? That sounds like an awful lot. Good gravy, I wonder what manner of goodies and gadgets these people all have…

    Anyway, these things do happen, I wonder what kind of bending over and clenching a private citizen would have to undergo had they lost a few cases and 4 shotguns, ‘off the back of a truck’, as it were.

    I think it’s a good bet there’s a little more to this story than we are being told.

    Interesting.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      “So we have beat cops, sheriff, state troopers, DPS, add in to that DHS, FBI, TSA, there sure are a lot of state agencies out there tasked with serving and protecting us. No doubt I forgot a few.”

      You forgot the IRS, with their own SWAT. US Postal Service, with their own SWAT. AMTRAK, with their own SWAT. US Board of Education, with their own SWAT. US Mint, with their own SWAT.

      The idiotic list goes on.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        Just what does the U.S. Mint’s SWAT team do all day? I’m picturing them as bored as the Maytag repairman.

        I do recall reading that during the 2013 D.C. Naval Yard spree shooting, that so many different SWAT teams showed up, that they had to turn many of them away.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Just what does the U.S. Mint’s SWAT team do all day? ”

          I’ll hazard a WAG they have other US Mint guard and patrol duties…

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Why kid borrowed $50k for her BA degree in Womens Studies.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        “Women’s Studies”? Sounds more like a BS degree to me.

  7. avatar onezero says:

    I would be scrutinizing the officers closely. The shotguns made it to training safely, why not back? I know of a Postal truck driver who was robbed at gun point. Postal Inspectors investigated him. Camped outside his house for months because they thought he was involved.

  8. avatar Another Robert says:

    “similar to waterfowl guns”–what the hell???

    1. avatar notalima says:

      Well, I found these 4 black, short barreled tactical shotguns with evil pistol grips. They didn’t look anything like waterfowl guns, so these must not be them.

      1. avatar CRF says:

        You had better try shooting at a duck just to be sure. If it kills the duck, then it’s obviously a waterfowl shotgun.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          and if it also floats. . .

        2. She has a long nose.

    2. avatar John P. says:

      Waterfowl pose a serious threat to campus safety. Why, the output of one determined rogue goose alone could contaminate an entire quad!

      Next item on SUPD’s shopping list: 10 gauge magnums in order to engage attacking geese at longer range.

      1. avatar WRH says:

        You laugh but geese are real pricks.

    3. avatar DaveL says:

      It’s the new verb conjugation for modern media. It goes like this:

      We are investigating the disposition of a waterfowl gun.

      You lost a shotgun.

      Those NRA gun nuts let a weapon of war fall into the hands of criminals.

  9. avatar kenneth says:

    Just what type of “disciplinary action” was “imposed on the officer responsible for securing the firearms”, inquiring minds want to know? A two week paid vacation? A calling into someone’s office and getting a good talking to? Five will get you ten it’s no more than a day off without pay at the very most…
    I’d also like to know what type of firearms training session they were undergoing that involves a rural area and waterfowl guns. Is it SOP in NY now to pay officers to go duck hunting?

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      They are not “duck hunting” (per se).

      They are looking for the portable duck blind (camouflaged parking lot Observation Post) that fell off of their truck last year.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      They get no jelly donuts for a month. Plain donuts only, no jelly, no glaze.

      It’s a really harsh punishment, but hey, they have to be firm with these guys.

  10. avatar PY-T says:

    I assume the pickup had some kind of a cap or cover on it and wasn’t an open bed. But, who leaves guns in a parked vehicle and goes to lunch without making sure they are secure and locking the tailgate…….Unbelievable, and it took three months before anything was said about this to the public.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Read the story again. They didn’t leave the guns in the back of the truck while they went to lunch. The guns fell out while they were driving back from the shooting range.

      1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

        Hang on there. “fell out of the back of the truck. After stopping a few miles later the officers realized this and immediately notified the State Police”

        The statement does indeed say they fell out of the truck, However that doesn’t seem very likely to me, things generally don’t just ‘fall out’ of a truck. And the added part of them driving a few miles and then realizing this also sounds fabricated, as it makes it sound like they lost control of these guns for just the shortest possible amount of time. If something really does fall out of your pickup bed, what are the chances that you are going to realize it just 2 or 3 miles down and then *immediately* turn around and call SP?

        Um, no. Leaving them in the bed by mistake while they all stopped for a few beers on the way back and having them nicked makes a lot more sense.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          But they can look for them on overtime.

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          The story isn’t that they “drove a few miles and realized they lost the guns”, it’s that they stopped for lunch a few miles down the road and saw the guns were missing. They didn’t suddenly realize it while driving and whip a U-turn. Your interpretation that the guns were stolen is certainly possible, but the official story, as given, doesn’t seem all that unlikely, either. Rural upstate NY roads can be pretty rough, and possibly winding and hilly, too, so if the gun cases were at the back of the bed and the tailgate dropped open, it’s not unbelievable that they could fall out.

        3. avatar Frank in VA says:

          I have seen quite a few guys out there who drive around with their pickup tailgates down or removed and an unsecured load in the bed. Just last summer I witnessed a guy who was probably a contractor pull away fast from a stoplight and dump several long cardboard boxes of white PVC pipes on the road. They slid right out when he hit the gas. One box was open on top and pipes bounced around all over the road. It looked like he had one of those drop-in bedliners made of plastic which don’t actually have much grip to them, and the load was not tied down in any way I could see. He immediately pulled over but took a long pause before getting out of the cab, probably to let the wave of embarrassment and shock subside.

          Contrary to what some think, leaving the tailgate down is not going is not going to improve gas mileage or make your truck faster, according to Mythbusters and Consumer Reports tests . It actually creates more drag and lowers gas mileage, by 4 percent in the CS test.

      2. avatar PY-T says:

        What happened was the officers stopped for lunch on the way back and noticed the tailgate down when they came out from the restaurant. This is per other reports.

        1. avatar PY-T says:

          Sorry, Had that wrong, I meant that they noticed the tail gate was down when they stopped for lunch at the El Premis restaurant in Elbridge.

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Ever see a cop drive less than 80mph on the freeway?

      You’d be amazed at what gets sucked out of an open pickup at high speeds.

  11. avatar dh34 says:

    Things like this happen. But in the meantime just remember that only those with training such as police and military should be trusted with firearms.

    1. avatar Samuel says:

      I’m surprised that not more people brought up the fact that police are allowed to have special guns because “they have special training in firearms use and safety, and can be trusted where the citizens obviously can’t”. That’s their excuse why they can have “assault rifles”, and why we should be expected to wait ten minutes for the cops to show up to take notes and “investigate” AFTER we’ve been robbed.

  12. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    If you say “similar to waterfowl” guns, it makes people think of duck hunting, double barrel FUDD. But that is like saying a lost AR15 is “similar to a hunting rifle”. They have a good comms person – wonder if they are an obama flunkie

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      Yup. One can say all 12 gauge shotguns are “similar” to waterfoul guns. No reason to believe the 4 lost were not KSG’s or Benelli M4’s.

      But don’t wanna scare the Fudds.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Actually, that was pretty much my point–but I just don’t quite know how to react to such flagrant (to me anyway) spin. I mean, is he afraid the Moms will come after him if they hear he’s using tactical shotguns? They’re cops, for Pete’s sake. Why in the hell is he even doing this “waterfowl guns” word-spinning?

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Because he’s trying to downplay the seriousness of it. He thinks “Oh, we just lost a few old hunting shotguns” sounds better than “we lost four tactical police shotguns”. Of course, if this police department seized an identical shotgun from a criminal, they’d be calling it a “military-grade assault shotgun”.

  13. avatar IL-annoyed says:

    No need for campus cops if students are not barred their Constitutional right to bear arms. 60 beat cops versus how many students on-campus?

    1. avatar CRF says:

      Even if it’s a relatively small school with 6000 on campus, if 1% carry that’s sixty armed people. Easy.

    2. avatar Mr. 308 says:

      This is an excellent point, the state is essentially creating a market of citizens demanding protection from violence by pushing this campaign of restricting peoples right to carry and at the same time effectively using the media to make guns antithetical to many in the public.

      This is a cop jobs program at the expense of the crime victim, and that in itself is an evil thing. If the public was better educated about both firearms and their rights, carried more often and were not treated so viciously in those times firearms have to be used to protect themselves the criminals would certainly not be so bold and there would be less crime.

      Yes this is a simplification and yes the issue is more complex but in the end the bad actors know areas where people can be counted on not to be armed.

      60 freaking campus cops for a single university? This is ridiculous, why do we pay city police, can they not take on a lot of this protecting and serving duty?

      The state has no interest whatsoever in spending less of your money; the state is able to direct large aspects of public activity and it will never work towards reducing the need for more state employees. This is the exact same problem with a public union, they work against the interests of the public which they serve.

      Oh, and then they ‘drop a few cases of shotguns off of a truck’? Jeezlus, I wonder if they got their BAC checked back when this happened.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        60 cops seems like a lot until you start looking at the numbers. There’s over 25,000 students, faculty, and staff at Syracuse, spread out on a several-hundred-acre campus. Since it’s a residential campus, they have to have police on duty round the clock. 60 is still probably a little high, but not ridiculously so.

        And since it’s a private school, I personally would rather they not use city cops to police the campus. Why should the city’s taxpayers subsidize the school’s security?

  14. avatar Marc says:

    The “canvassing of houses in the area” is what bothers me. What the hell did they do, go knocking on doors and search people’s homes? Get the hell off my property.

    1. avatar Layne says:

      I wondered about that too. I would expect they were just knocking on doors and asking if anyone saw anything, but you never know these days.

    2. avatar Samuel says:

      Makes me curious now: if a cop, or a civilian looses a firearm and I find it, can I be accused of stealing it? If I found a box with four shotguns in it, I might keep them too. Abandoned property, salvage rights. In that case, I wouldn’t be required to tell them when they knocked on my door. And what grounds would they give for a warrant? (And of course, it’s very possible that a person driving through the area stopped and picked them up, not a local). Of course, if they knew you found them and kept them, every agency in the state would do everything in their power to make your life miserable forever. They do that. Around here, even though you’re 100% allowed to carry a gun, if you get arrested while carrying one, they’ll do everything they can to punish you, even though it’s perfectly legal.

      1. avatar twency says:

        In many states you have a legal obligation to attempt to ascertain the owner of lost property and return it to him. Not to mention the moral obligation.

        This was not “abandoned” property, it was lost. There’s a difference.

      2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        It will depend on state law, in Kentucky, yes you would be guilty of theft if you kept a found item without trying to return it to the proper owner.

  15. avatar Bob321 says:

    In my 7 years while an USAF SP, working around literally thousands of gun carrying SPs, no one ever lost a firearm. I had read about it happening at a few bases before my time, but it was rare…very, very rare. Of course, if you “lost” a firearm in the USAF while I served, you would have spent some time in jail, so there was a lot of incentive. Why is it that civilian police seem to lose guns so often? This carelessness just seems very rampant amongst their ranks.

    1. avatar CRF says:

      “I don’t know how it got there Lieutenant! I just opened my gun cabinet one morning and there was the missing rifle!”

  16. avatar Chiraq77 says:

    I love how they try to make the guns sound less dangerous by describing them as water foul guns. I am sure they are at least basic 4+1 models one would use for home defense, if not scary 7+1 or 8+1 models with GASP pistol grips!

  17. avatar Wiregrass says:

    If you are too effen stupid to latch a tailgate, you are too effen stupid to handle firearms, much less be responsible for my safety. I don’t care if the are duck assault guns.

  18. avatar Smith says:

    Look, we all know they called them duck guns to avoid the embarassing question of ‘how come police can have evil black guns and I can’t?’ It is almost insulting how stupid they must think we are 🙂

  19. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Fun question:

    You find a case with four shotguns (all with 18+ inch barrels and “legal” tube magazine capacities) on the shoulder of the road. You wait for a few minutes and no one comes to retrieve them so you take them home. If the police somehow locate them in your possession three years from now, do you face any legal consequences? If you sell them to someone and the police locate them in the buyer’s possession years from now, do you or the buyer face any legal consequences? After all, you did not steal them. And the buyer did not steal them.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Under the law in many states you did “steal” them.
      Here is a link to the Kentucky Revised Statute that covers “lost” items.

      http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=19806

      514.050 Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake.
      (1) Except as provided in KRS 365.710, a person is guilty of theft of property lost,
      mislaid, or delivered by mistake when:
      (a) He comes into control of the property of another that he knows to have been
      lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the
      property or the identity of the recipient; and
      (b) With intent to deprive the owner thereof, he fails to take reasonable measures
      to restore the property to a person entitled to have it.
      (2) Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake is a Class A misdemeanor
      unless the value of the property is:
      (a) Five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars
      ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; or
      (b) Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, in which case it is a Class C felony.
      Effective: June 25, 2009
      History: Amended 2009 Ky. Acts ch. 106, sec. 8, effective June 25, 2009. — Amended
      1992 Ky. Acts ch. 451, sec. 3, effective July 14, 1992. — Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch.
      406, sec. 121, effective January 1, 1975

      Your state might be different, but you would be wise to check.

    2. avatar 505markf says:

      Probably some kind of a legal argument along the lines of if you found something that was obviously not yours, but you knew who it belonged to – presuming the firearms or cases were marked, e.g., property of blah blah blah – AND it was an LEO, what charge could you face if you simply kept them?

      Far as I’m concerned, it starts with finders keepers, losers weepers. Granted, I’m a fairly nice guy and would probably give them back. I’ve done it before finding wallets or such, returned them to their owners. But damn… po po loses FOUR shotguns? I might have to sit with that decision for a day or two. Not sure where I’d end up on it, actually. Part of me says, give them back, but there’s another part of me that says screw ’em.

    3. avatar Layne says:

      Considering the amount of embarrassment you could have saved them with a timely return, I’d probably call from a pay phone and let the PD know I had some shotguns for sale.

    4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Youse guys lack imagination.

      These dipstick cops in NY state are constantly running gun “buy backs” (to buy property “back” that they never legally owned in the first place…)

      In this case, look at the situation like this: The flatfoots could actually be buying back guns that were once in their possession. Find a gun buyback, turn in one of them for $100 (or whatever), “no questions asked.” Repeat three more times in geographically displaced areas/cities. Gain received, problem solved, cops made to feel all warm, fuzzy and morally superior because they “got some guns off the street,” and the finder/keeper is a few hundred dollars richer in the process.

      Win/win/win.

  20. avatar neiowa says:

    Campus Security – issue them firearms and suddenly they are what? Mall Cops?

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Many campus cops are sworn officers.

      1. avatar pod says:

        Most of the major campuses I’ve seen have their security taken care of, in part, by dedicated units from the local municipal police force. Sometimes it proves to be a point of contention, especially with private universities, i.e. full-time cops on the public dime exclusively dedicated to protecting private property.

  21. avatar Mattb says:

    Sounds like a real good excuse for selling those guns for some quick cash then playing the stupid card.

    1. avatar 505markf says:

      Sorry, but the stupid card is no longer in the deck. The cops already played it.

  22. Too bad Facebook banned gun sale ads because there’s a good chance they would be recovered.

    Four new condition Duck hunting shotguns for sale and two hard cases. Cases show very little wear except for minor scratches to the underside of each. $1,200 for the lot. Must sell!

  23. avatar adverse says:

    They sold the shotguns?

  24. avatar Vlad the Impeller says:

    Yes, growing up in a neighborhood with a heavy mob presence, I knew many people who purchased items at substantial discount after they “fell off the back of the truck.” Invariably, those driving the truck had something to do with it.

  25. avatar Larry says:

    Syracuse has fully sworn officers . I actually know Bob , he’s a retired Capt from the NYS troopers and worked as the number two cop for a bit in the City of Rochester .

    He’s a decent guy, and seemed to handle things correct , never knew him to be a duck hunter , we could have gone out a few times .

  26. avatar Layne says:

    Guys, a shotgun IS similar to a shotgun. Besides the barrel length and furniture, there’s basically no difference (the ammo used is the bigger difference). So someone finally explained something accurately for those following along at home, and you’re all busting their balls. OBVIOUSLY if a criminal used the same gun, it would be described as “similar to what Navy Seals use”.

  27. avatar derfel cadarn says:

    Everyone involved in this incident and the joker pictured above should loose their jobs and certifications. They appear hardly capable of employment as asswipers let alone LEOs

  28. avatar Swilson says:

    I have seen LE toting waterfowl guns here in Eastern NC. The DOC boys have those big, long geese-touchers shouldered while they watch the prisoners pick up trash on the hwy.

  29. avatar Jack says:

    “They just fell out of the back of the truck, fuhgetaboutit. Tony sends his warmest regards.”

  30. avatar Weaponized-Hotdog says:

    I’m super pumped (pun alert!) it was only a duck hunting shotgun. I’d imagine being shot with a duck gun, possibly while being robbed or such, would be like an intense tickle fight. Getting shot with some sort of black high capacity “shoulder thing that goes up shotgun”….. Oh, the horror!!!!

    1. At least you wouldn’t get lead poisoning. Waterfowl guns shoot steel shot. Doctor can just leave the pellets in your body. The TSA will have a good time with your scans.

  31. avatar nyglockowner says:

    We need background checks for those who find firearms in the road.

  32. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    How YOU doin’??? Fell off the back of a truck-with 1000cartons of cigarettes and booze. Lamest thing I ‘ve heard TODAY-the day ain’t over)…

  33. avatar Keith in Ohio says:

    We need to close the “shoulder of the road” loophole. For the children!

  34. avatar Partigiano says:

    The Army figured out the solution to this problem a long time ago in Ranger School. Just dummy-cord police firearms to the officer at all times. Lost police gun loophole closed, for only the cost of a piece of 550 cord each!

  35. avatar Rem870 says:

    It is fun that they describe their shotguns as “waterfowl guns” 🙂

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