The Mississippi State Auditor addressed a controversy centered around 29 guns donated to the Waveland Police Department after Hurricane Katrina.
As we've told you before, Glock, Inc. donated the .40 caliber handguns to the department in 2005. Former Police Chief Jimmy Varnell assigned those weapons to officers who had lost weapons they purchased for use on duty during the storm.
Those guns have been deemed misused public property by the State Auditor’s Office.
Tuesday, the office told the city it must recover and return all weapons to the police department. Individual officers can reimburse the $400 cost of the weapons to the department, but all weapons not recovered or reimbursed must be added to the national crime institute center.
In letters to individual officers, state officials say former and current officers will have to provide a detailed explanation if the firearms are no longer in their possession. They must detail how the guns were lost or to whom and when it was given or sold.
Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said in a previous interview that the officers assumed the donated guns were given to them permanently.
The State Auditor's Office said it will continue to work with the City of Waveland to ensure the resolution of this issue.