Ramsey Get Your Gun

Missing Philadelphia M16

Welcome to the Philadelphia Police Department, where we hire only the best and the brightest. Or something.

The Philadelphia Police Department is missing one of its Vietnam-era M16 automatic assault rifles, and the weapon may have been stolen from its secure location, according to Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey.

“The biggest fear is it was stolen by one of our own members,” Ramsey said Monday during a news conference at Police Headquarters. “It is a federal offense.”

Thanks for the pep talk, coach. Glad to see we’re the prime suspects…

Maybe someone was simply using fuzzy math?

Last Tuesday, the Police Department conducted a regularly scheduled audit of the 1,356 M16s it received in 2009 from the federal government. The audit revealed one M16 was unaccounted for, Ramsey said.

Ramsey said either the weapon was taken or an inventory error could have miscounted how many M16s the department possessed. He said the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and police Internal Affairs were investigating. The department’s M16s are to be converted to semiautomatic AR-15s to be used by SWAT teams.

Naturally I’m snarking about this, but if almost 19 years here has taught me anything, one of these things happened. First, the audit came up with an incorrect count, and the weapon is still there. Or, some knucklehead was issued the weapon (or procured it) and either the armorer or the knucklehead forgot to sign it out.

Trust me, this weapon is either secured in a patrol car’s trunk, or the armory.

12 thoughts on “Ramsey Get Your Gun

  1. realwest

    That’s some boss you work for Wyatt. First thing the COMMISSIONER OF THE PHILLY PD does is BLAME a cop without any evidence that a cop stole that rifle.
    And hey, how come your department has over 1,300 M-16′s that were GOING to be converted to semi-automatic but never were? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist like the Commissioner to convert one from full auto to semi-auto.
    But I’ll bet the Commissioner or your Mayor PAID someone to do that – maybe the Commissioner should look to whomever was gonna convert them to find the thief.

  2. Ingineer66

    Real stole my question. The PPD has had them for nearly 4 years and has not yet converted them? That is some efficiency. As for the commissioner not trusting his own force, maybe he should focus more on hiring and promoting the best and brightest.

  3. Wes S.

    A couple of things: First, if the Philly PD can’t keep track of their *own* weapons, then the commish – and his political bosses – need to quit kvetching over the ones in civilian hands. I’m pretty sure any ordinary Philly resident, picked at random, knows precisely how many guns he has and where they are.

    And secondly – if the “Vietnam-era M16s” given to the Philly PD are anything like the similarly-vintaged POS I was issued in Army Basic Training at Fort Dix back in 1986 – I can’t see it posing a threat as anything other than an oddly-shaped, plastic-stocked club. Mine was an utter jam-o-matic. It literally jammed on every other shot I fired during qualification. I can see why they’re sending them in for rebuilding.

    Although it seems strange that they’re being “neutered” to semiauto-only if they’re intended for SWAT.

  4. harp1034

    Hope they all don’t look as used as the one in the picture. The one I used in Viet Nam was a lot better than that one. I was not the first GI to use it either.

  5. Fenway_Nation

    Remember hearing a few years ago about how some theives stole police-issue shotguns and AR-15s from marked police cruisers from the California Highway Patrol and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department that were parked in supposedly secure locations. Kinda disturbing when I tried finding out more thru a quick Google search at the time and I had to sift through some even more recent articles about thefts of firearms from different agencies in Nevada, Puerto Rico and upstate New York

  6. Jim Scrummy

    Probably a miscount. I deal with a LE Agency, and we did a facility audit on their “armory” a few years ago. Let’s just say they had no frickin’ clue as to how many weapons they had dispersed throughout numerous facilities. That was the tip of the ice berg, other stuff was not being properly stored or maintained as per their SOPs and other regs. Needless to say we have not been asked back to audit their “armories”, because of the s-storm it created. Of course, just yesterday I passed one of their officers manning a personnel checkpoint and she was texting away on her iPhone, while barely doing her duty. I guess nothing happened in Boston on Monday?

  7. chiefjaybob

    Ramsey is an Illinois transplant. He was commander of the IL State Police. He then went on to lead the Washington, D.C. police department. That resume should tell you all you need to know about the man and his qualifications.

    1. Jim Scrummy

      When Fenty was Mayor of DC, he couldn’t get rid of Ramsey fast enough. Unfortunately for DC, Fenty only lasted 1 term. DC’s loss is Philly’s gain! Gray (DC’s current crook…err mayor) should be in jail, and would be if zero and holder weren’t protecting him.

      Just read a blurb that Philly is looking to start asset sales? Hmmm, smells like a bankruptcy in the making. wouldn’t surprise me, with Harrisburg being bankrupt, and Pittsburgh on it’s way.

  8. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Real – They’re probably ensconced in a bidding war.

    Ingineer66 – Never happen. They’re not interested in the best and brightest. They’re interested in “diverse” personnel.

    Wes S. – Some officers are now training with them, in case we get a Hollywood Shootout scenario. Right ahead of that curve. When was that, 1997?

    Harp1034 – I believe that’s a photo of one of ours. Nice, huh?

    Fenway – I can’t speak for them, but security in our buildings is a joke. The cops downstairs send anyone and everyone up to our offices, usually unattended. Recipe for trouble.

    Jim – That was my first thought. Someone miscounted, or forgot to sign out the weapon. Happens all the time with our radios.

    Chief – The D.C. cops hated him there. Still do, actually.

  9. Bob G.

    Knowing some of the operations of the PPD (from decade past), I’d have to run with YOUR take on it…I’d much rather believe a clerical clusterf$ck than an outright theft.
    Time for a REAL audit (of the auditor), eh?

    Stay safe out there.

  10. John D

    “…a regularly scheduled audit of the 1,356 M16s it received in 2009 from the federal government.”

    Wow, that’s a lot of M-16s for a civilian police department. I thought “weapons of war” had no place on America’s streets. I must have that wrong. Liberals use a lot of big words, I must’ve misunderstood.


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