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Consultant’s review of Tucumcari PD reveals unaccounted firearms

Jen French
March 20, 2017 10:17 PM

TUCUMCARI — A consultant’s review of the Tucumcari Police Department reveals missing firearms in the evidence inventory room and poor followups on investigations.

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After officer and citizen complaints, City Manager Jared Langenegger hired law enforcement consultant and former State Police Lt. Nathan Wallace to review the city’s police department last October.

"It’s not that they were missing," Langenegger said. "It's that they were possibly mislabeled."

Wallace claimed the department did a poor job following up on investigations and didn’t properly record guns in the evidence room.

Since 2007, nine guns were not properly recorded when disposed of, returned to the owner or absorbed in the police department. It’s a lack of oversight new Police Chief David Lathrom said will change once a new barcode inventory software system is installed.

From Kansas, Lathrom has been on the job for a month. Lathrom traced the whereabouts of eight of the nine guns, but one is still missing.

"No matter what you're talking about, whatever area you're dealing with, you have to demonstrate competence your truthfulness,” Lathrom said.

One of the missing guns was in the hands of gunman William Archuleta. Police say he shot several homes along South Third Street and the Lowe’s Grocery in 2011.

One of those homes was Joe Eidy’s. Eidy found seven bullet holes on the front façade of his house.

“Guy just randomly decided to shoot up the neighborhood,” Eidy said. “He just turned 18. It was his 18th birthday."

Archuleta is in prison for an unrelated attempted murder conviction, but the evidence room inventory uncertainty makes Eidy uneasy.                                                             

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Jen French

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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