M-16 rifle is missing from police inventory

Has anyone seen a Philadelphia police-issued Colt M-16 rifle lying around?

That’s a question Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and federal investigators are asking after a recent audit of firearms at the city’s Police Academy revealed that a fully-automatic rifle is missing from the inventory.

The police department obtained 1,356 of the rifles from the federal government in August 2009. The department’s “DLA Disposition Services” unit at Bureau of Supplies and Surplus conducted the audit on April 9. The count came up one weapon short.

On April 15, the police department announced that the weapons are stored at the Police Academy on State Road in a 4x4x2-foot crate that weighs about 800 pounds. The crate is secured to pallets with metal bands and sits inside a locked, alarm-equipped room within the department’s “gun vault.”

“There are a limited number of people that have authorized access to this secured area,” the police department said in a printed statement.

In an effort to locate the rifle, the department’s own investigators and federal agents have inspected the Firearms Training Unit, individual lockers surrounding the firearms unit, all special units and all patrol districts.

“No individual, current or former employee, with access to these weapons is exempt from being thoroughly investigated regarding this matter,” the department stated.

Ramsey has ordered a full-scale audit on all city-owned firearms in use by the police department.

Call 215–686-TIPS or text to “PPD TIP” to report information about the weapon. ••