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(TX) Austin police reviewing holsters after gun found in park

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    Austin police reviewing holsters after gun found in park
    Officers who work with dogs ordered to stop using holsters.
    By Tony Plohetski

    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Austin police are reviewing the type of holsters dozens of officers carry and have already suspended their use in the department's canine unit after officials said an officer's gun slipped out and was later found in a Southwest Austin park teeming with children.

    Assistant Police Chief Al Eells said Wednesday that a preliminary investigation shows that officer Daniel Eveleth, who was sitting on a playground slide, lost his loaded gun when a police dog lurched toward him at Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park on Slaughter Creek early Monday.

    Eells and other department officials said Eveleth was wearing a special holster in which a gun rests between an officer's knee and hip and that the dog's paw might have knocked a leather strap covering the weapon out of place.

    "Certainly we believe there may be an equipment issue here," Eells said.

    Eells said the investigation will include why Eveleth did not know for several hours that his gun was missing. A group of mothers and about a dozen children found the weapon on the slide about 8:45 a.m. and called police, who returned it to Eveleth at his home.

    Assistant Police Chief Sam Holt, who is in charge of the department this week while Chief Art Acevedo is attending a conference, also said Wednesday that officials are reviewing why top department leaders weren't told about what happened until a day later, when the Austin American-Statesman began inquiring about the incident.

    It is the second time in recent weeks that top city officials weren't immediately notified of a high-profile incident. City Manager Marc Ott has said he didn't learn about last month's fire at the Texas Governor's Mansion until the next day. About 100 Austin firefighters battled the blaze, which nearly destroyed the empty building.

    Eells said Eveleth was nearing the end of his eight-hour shift about 5:15 a.m. Monday when he took the dog to the park. He said the dog had been patrolling with the officer in his car and that Eveleth wanted to give it time to exercise.

    He said that after several minutes, Eveleth loaded the dog into the car, went home and immediately fell asleep.

    Eells said officers who responded to a 911 call from the park thought the gun looked similar to the type of weapon officers carry and asked department officials to check its serial number against those in a database.

    He said Eveleth was "quite frankly shocked" when they returned his gun.

    "He's very upset about it," Eells said. "He has expressed that. This is the type of situation that strikes fear in every officer's heart."

    Officials said they were trying to determine Wednesday how many officers wear the "tactical thigh holsters" and will review whether they are appropriate for their assignments. They said officers in specialized units, including the SWAT team and bomb squad, often wear special bullet-proof vests that make wearing regular holsters that go around the waist uncomfortable.

    They said seven officers who are assigned dogs have been ordered to immediately stop wearing the thigh holsters.

    During a news conference, Eells, Holt and Assistant City Manager Bert Lumbreras each thanked parents at the park for keeping children away from the gun. They especially expressed gratitude to Danielle Pieranunzi, who called 911.

    "She handled the situation very appropriately," Lumbreras said.
     
  2. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    Use of special holster suspended after APD gun found in park

    08:25 PM CDT on Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    By NOELLE NEWTON
    KVUE News

    One day after Austin police admitted an officer left his gun in a Southwest Austin park, police officials confirmed with KVUE News that the use of special holsters for working with police dogs has been suspended.

    In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, police said they don't know whether the officer or the gun holster was to blame, but they aren't taking any chances.

    Austin Police say Officer Daniel Eveleth, an 11-year veteran, somehow lost his loaded Glock gun at the popular and heavily-used Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park early Monday morning. Eveleth was at the park early Monday training with the canine unit.

    "It strikes fear in every officer's heart. Leaving a weapon unsecured like that in a place like that simply for all of us and we are human in this department is sickening and we obviously want to make sure this never happens again," said Assistant Chief Al Eells, Austin Police Department.

    Fellow APD officers say Eveleth is sick with the guilt of leaving his loaded gun at this park playground.

    "I can tell you, no one is more devastated than officer himself," Austin Police Association Vice-President Wuthipong Tantaksinanukj. "He's a great officer. He's highly thought of this is just an unfortunate accident."

    Eveleth told Eells how he thinks it happened.

    "Eveleth was nearing the end of his shift. He stopped at Slaughter Creek Park to give his K-9 rest and exercise," Eells explained.

    Eveleth, sat down on a slide and his dog jumped on him. A parent found the gun on the slide three hours later.

    Officers illustrated in a news conference earlier Wednesday why the dog's paw swipe could have been enough to cause the gun to slip out. K-9 officers like Eveleth use a special gun holster that wraps around their thigh. When sitting, the back of the gun could easily slip out if the strap is flipped up.

    Police say a gun has never fallen out of a holster like this before. Nonetheless, the department is suspending use of the belt and holster.

    "We are very concerned and will look at this very carefully," Eells said.

    All thigh holsters have been pulled until further investigation. Eveleth's actions will also be investigated.

    One thing officers do know is they are thankful no one got hurt.

    "Thanks to the mom for calling 9-1-1," Bert Lumbreras, Assistant City Manager.

    The SWAT team, the bomb squad and narcotics officers also use the same holster on occasion. Those tactical officers wear outer bullet proof vests. The thigh holster makes it easier for them to grab their gun in high intensity situations.

    Eveleth's actions are being investigated. He remains on active duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

    http://www.kvue.com/news/newton/stories/070908kvuegunfolo-cb.3bce83b5.html
     
  3. TAB

    TAB Member

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    it might be a equipment issue, but with out a doubt they have a TRAINING issue
     
  4. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Member

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    I wonder if any discipline action was taken against the officer that dropped the gun. Thank God no one was hurt! With kids around they are really lucky none of them found it before the adults. It seems odd though that if the officer went home and went to bed that he didnt notice his holster was empty! :what:

    wow what a name for a park! haha :evil:
     
  5. M249MachineGun

    M249MachineGun Member

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    I guess Uncle Mike's has lost a contract here.



    j/k. Too bad the article doesn't mention the make and model so we can have a nice discussion/flame war about it. No offense to any UM holster users here!
     
  6. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    Regardless if the holster is a bad design, what about the "trained observer" that doesn't even notice his gun is missing? Looks like there is enough blame to go around.
     
  7. FCFC

    FCFC Has Never Owned a Gun

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    Lose a gun...go to sleep...blame the equipment....blame the dog...try to hide the event from superiors...

    The whole department seems irresponsible on this one.

    At least they didn't suspend the dog. :rolleyes:
     
  8. usmarine0352_2005

    usmarine0352_2005 Member

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    .



    “I’m the only person professional enough in this room, that I know of, to carry a Glock 40.”



    Ooops, maybe not.


    :neener:
     
  9. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    I had a Fobus paddle holster fail on me so I'm going to cut the guy slack until more is known. It got loose over time and my SW mod. 36 worked its way out. Thank goodness it was in the car.
     
  10. moga

    moga Member

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    How could be not tell that his gun was no longer in its drop leg? The feedback from the weight of the gun is plenty enough to determine when it has been unseated from the holster.

    I think this is human error and has little to do with the application of the holster or the holster itself.
     
  11. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Aha! Officer Chompy, up to your old tricks.

    When police dogs are not using their Jedi Powers to find drugs, they are stealing pistols out of cops' holsters.:D
     
  12. dewage83

    dewage83 Member

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    Talk about not being aware of the situation. The dog knocked off the strap? The dog was jumping on this mans thigh? they need more behavioral training for these darn dogs huh? I believe theres more to the story
     
  13. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    You'd be amazed. When you are wearing the full bat-belt AKA the "Chandelier o' gear" with that thick multi-layer duty belt the difference in weight of gun or no gun is pretty small and you really don't tend to notice it amongst the radio, cuffs, baton, spray, taser, and on and on. That is precisely why my old department was hard core on training you to check (visually and by touch) your belt every time you entered or exited the cruiser.
     
  14. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    This revelation makes it even more suspicious. It is hard enough to believe that one would not notice the weight missing from a gun strapped on ones hip, but a gun in a thigh holster? How could you possibly not miss that?

    I might buy the idea that he was roughhousing with the dog and the dog might have unintentionally unstrapped his gun and then the gun just fell out. If that is indeed possible, it would seem to make those kind of holsters unsuitable for any cop to use.
     
  15. moga

    moga Member

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    What difference does the weight of the accessories on your belt have to do with two pounds of gun on your thigh? Respectfully, I fail to see the correlation.
     
  16. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    Wear a full frame backpack packed for a week on the AT and see if you notice your sleeping bag fall off. You probably won't. Same type of thing.
     
  17. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    You hand does not naturally fall right where your sleeping bag is located though.

    At some point after he got home he had to have taken his uniform off. I can't believe he walked around in a dirty uniform for 11 more hours.
     
  18. yesit'sloaded

    yesit'sloaded Member

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    If your walking a dog and your gun hand is on the leash you might not notice. Why doesn't anyone make a holster with magnets inside to help with retention? Sounds like the engineering solution to me.
     
  19. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I would think a K9 officer would be trained to hold the leash in his non-gun hand.

    I suspect a very human reaction occurred. loss of gun - first instinct is to do nothing and hope it turns up without anyone noticing.
     
  20. HOME DEPOT GEORGE

    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Member

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    I'm sorry but I rank this right up there with the people who leave their toddlers in the back seat of the car and tell the authority's they forgot the kid was there. To me it's just stupid JMHO.
     
  21. dogmush

    dogmush Member

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    Definatly a training issue here, but they might have equipment issues as well.

    I get to carry an M9 over here sometimes, and I use a Serpa thigh holster. and definatlly, between the extra ammo, and misc. stuff strapped on the wieght of the gun can be overlooked. I've had to check on mine a couple times. I also stand with my hand on the but of the weapon, but have been told that looks "frightning". If I can be told that in Iraq, I could definattly see LEO's being told not to finger their weapons.

    He def. should have done a gear check at the end of the day to make sure he had everything, but also, the holster def. should have held the pistol better.
     
  22. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    Lazy minded; it happens to all of us.

    I'm sure that's the last time he'll lose his gun.
     
  23. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Most likely. And he will forever serve as an object lesson to new officers.
     
  24. TAB

    TAB Member

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    how is that? He is still on active duty.( see artical above)
     
  25. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    I'm sure his buddies will use him as an example...or just rag on him. Gotta to love the brotherhood.
     
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