The Audit report was actually requested by Hartford Police Chief James Rovella after officers went to him with their concerns regarding the operation of the Hartford Police Firing range. Rovella immediately requested the City Auditors begin an internal review and eventually an HPD Internal Affairs Investigation was launched. The results of that IAD have not been released yet but , it will probably be far worse than the details outlined below.
There are more questions raised than answered as you read this, but also keep in mind that this has gone on for years at the range. Chief Rovella has implemented recent changes to add additional oversight and controls to the range. The "range Officer" who was not identified in the audit is reportedly Lou Crabtree who basically ran the firing range unsupervised for years. He abruptly retired once the audit and IAD investigation began. Although the audit doesn't mention criminal charges, after reading the report it would seem hard not to be some.
If the numbers are accurate, there seems to be over $400,000 in ammunition unaccounted for. It also seems like there would probably be some federal violations , especially for an ammo dealer transporting such large quantities of bullets over state lines with no paper trail or record to review.
One high ranking HPD source recently told me "if we had a Ferguson type incident, we have no extra ammunition on the building to give out to officers" Even though by the invoices it would seem there is plenty, especially since HPD normally spend on average $115,000 a year for ammo, and last year according to the books spent over $400,000.
Crabtree apparently told auditors that he bartered much of the ammo to other agencies, including Windsor Locks PD, the Connecticut State Police and East Hartford PD. I am waiting for the IAD report to be released before I start FOI'ing documents from those agencies to verify Crabtree's claims. I can't imagine the Connecticut State Police "bartering " for ammo, or that "bartering" ammo is even legal.
This might actually be the type of thing that needs to go before a Grand Jury to get to the truth or even the Federal Corruption team. The large amounts of ammunition unaacounted for is disheartening . HPD has anobligation to account for that ammo and to make sure it has not fallen into the wrong hands. With that much ammo missing, HPD could potentially be supplying evrry gang member in the Greater Hartford area with 9mm and 40cal shells for the next several years.
Officer Crabtree, you have some explaining to do and your retirement to save your pension doesn't cut it.