LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In the past two years, at least $76, 558 worth of City of Little Rock property has been lost or stolen, according to an open records request. The request showed everything from lawn equipment to electronics and even riot gear and guns.
“We take being good stewards of taxpayer dollars seriously and we do an inventory each year,” City of Little Rock Communications & Marketing Manager Lamor Williams said.
That inventory also showed two City of Little Rock John Deere mowers disappeared from a park in the past two years. The mowers cost an estimated $37,147
“I would say most generally our equipment is secured, I don’t know in this particular case just yet, how the items were able to be taken away from the facility,” Williams said.
FOX16 asked who is held responsible for the stolen equipment.
“It happens. The city is susceptible to theft as are private residents and other businesses unfortunately,” Williams said. “The City has an insurance policy. In the case of some of the items in here, they were covered by our insurance policy.”
FOX16 also found through an open records request, that the Little Rock Police Department’s total for lost and stolen items was roughly $22,000 over two years. A police report showed an officer lost a portable radio when he “drove off accidentally” with his radio on the tailgate in April of 2018. That radio cost an estimated $4,000.
According to LRPD, the department’s policy said “personnel who are found negligent may be required to reimburse the department…and will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action.”
Another officer reported a pistol and magazines missing in November of 2017, but according to the police report, she had “no reason to believe a crime happened.” LRPD told FOX16 this was never determined to be a crime, but the gun is still missing today.
$15,000 worth of riot gear is also missing. It was stolen from an officer’s patrol car in July.
In a statement LRPD said “While we do not want this equipment in the care of someone with ill intent, this equipment is not mark with identifying markers that say “Police”. This equipment is not Kevlar (bullet resistant), like our patrol vest. Additionally, no weapons, batons, etc are included in the basic riot gear. This equipment is to help protect an officer from having an object strike them, in the event of a violent protest. Other than the helmet and gas mask, this is no more than shin guards and a vest protector like you may see a baseball catcher wear.”
FOX16 filed an open records request to see if the officers who lost the radio, gun or riot gear were ever punished. It has not been provided as of posting this story.