Internal Investigation Of Pine County Sheriff’s Office Reveals Possible Misconduct, Missing Firearms
Sheriff Cole will answer questions regarding these matters on Monday, January 30th at 0900 hrs during a press conference in the PCSO training room. (Enter at the PCSO public entrance)
During the past year the Pine County Sheriff’s Office has conducted eleven Internal Investigations involving 15 Sheriff’s Office employees. These investigations were in response to both internal and citizen complaints alleging misconduct. Reported allegations include: Failure to follow established PCSO Policies and Orders, Failure to perform assigned duties, Sexual Harassment,Domestic Violence, mishandling of property under the control of the PCSO, Excessive Force and Abuse of Authority.
Included in these; is an ongoing investigation focusing on the accountability of firearms in the custody of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. Sparked by citizen complaints of firearms not being properly returned to their rightful owners, an internal audit was initiated by Sheriff Cole shortly after taking office in January of 2011. It found that access control and book keeping measures inplace since 2001 were not in compliance with state mandated standards. It was further determined that during the period from 2008 to early 2011, twelve firearms documented to be in the custody of the PCSO are missing.
The Firearms investigation is still ongoing at this time. Numerous control measures have been implemented to enhance accountability of all property, and ensure PCSO property accountability procedures meet or exceed state standards. All of the above investigations have produced disciplinary actions ranging from oral and written reprimands up to and including termination from employment.
The Pine County Sheriff will not tolerate the misconduct of employees and expects all employees of the PCSO to meet or exceed the standards set forth upon taking office in 2011. The actions of the Sheriff over this past year has made it clear that all representatives of the Pine County Sheriff’s Office are to conduct themselves beyond reproach both on and off duty. The Sheriff will make every effort to contact the rightful owners of the missing Firearms and make right these wrongs.
In the midst of these acts of misconduct by only a few, 2011 saw many acts of bravery and heroism by many other honest and honorable employees of the PCSO. Numerous life saving awards and medals of commendations will be awarded at a ceremony in the coming weeks to honor the great work and sacrifice of those Employees who choose to do the right thing. In the near future a press release will announce this awards ceremony and we encourage all members of the media and public to be there to affirm and recognize these positive examples of “Serving and Protecting” the citizens of Pine County.