ATF takes inventory of Perkins police firearms

PERKINS TWP. Two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted an in
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted an inventory of firearms and ammunition owned by Perkins police Wednesday morning.

Bureau spokesman Brandt Schenken said, "The bureau cannot comment on the matter," but township trustee Bill Dwelle said the action was prompted by a complaint.

"I had inquired some information previously," he initially told the Register, but later in the same conversation said, "I had been contacted some months ago and asked for some information which I provided to them ..."

Dwelle said he did not know who made the complaint prompting the bureau's inquiry.

He added that he preferred not to comment further on inventory matters.

"There's just been so much going on that I probably just better not really get into it and let it work its way through and see what they come up with," he said.

Police Chief Tim McClung said the visit wasn't a surprise, contrary to reader comments posted on the Register Web site.

McClung said he contacted ATF on May 18 and invited the bureau to inventory the department's firearms.

"I asked them down because of the public impression that inventory is missing," he said.

The department and bureau scheduled the inventory for July 19, and the bureau conducted a complete inventory of all weapons owned by the department, he said.

"They did a complete survey of every weapon. We brought every gun out, physically handing them to (ATF personnel), and they copied every serial number down," McClung said.

Questions regarding the 2006 departmental inventory were previously raised by Dwelle.

He conducted his own audit of the inventory, comparing it with previous inventories on record, purchase orders and invoices dating back several years.

Dwelle was concerned items were not listed on the inventory.

A lawsuit filed by McClung and Lt. Al Matthews against Dwelle, his wife and the board of trustees regarding the inventory controversy is pending.

Tim Coleman, board chairman, wanted to make it clear the board as a whole did not contact the bureau to request an inventory audit.

"They had a report some firearms were missing and not on the inventory. They were just doing a follow-up to make sure everything was in order the way it was supposed to be," Coleman said. "I told them that's fine with me."

Coleman was asked fact-finding questions, but has not heard anything back from the bureau regarding the inventory.

He said he has been assured by McClung that the bureau found all items to be accounted for.