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Officers Disciplined for Failing to Find Gun on Prisoner

November 21, 2007  | 

Four Woonsocket, R.I., police officers have been punished for failing to find a loaded handgun on a prisoner before taking her to jail.

Chief Michael Houle says the Nov. 7 incident has spurred the department to change its search and seizure procedures.

Officials say that officers confiscated cocaine from Anne Sullivan, 49, but did not detect a loaded semi-automatic pistol in her waistband before taking her to jail. The gun was discovered when it fell to the ground as Sullivan was being transported to district court later that day.

Two officers who had contact with Sullivan were suspended for two months without pay. Another officer was suspended for two days and a fourth was written up. Houle says that disciplinary action against a fifth officer is pending.


Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

stodolaj1 @ 11/23/2007 6:01 PM

I guess this means that in R.I. they don't have much regard for their own lives. That is just poor training plain and simple. How are we to expect them to protect us when it is painfully evident that they cannot even care for themselves? This is a borderline situation that says, "you are not fit for this job", find another one.

Bluewater46 @ 11/24/2007 1:27 AM

I will not Monday morning quarterback these officers, but I will say this, when we get too comfortable in our jobs a situation like above reminds us to wake up. Lucky for all involved this didn't turn out to be worse then what it was. Reminder for all, if there are drugs, there are guns, if we find one thing on a person then we look for the next.....................Please be safe...........

[email protected] @ 11/25/2007 5:27 AM

I think they have made a grave mistake where officers get to laxed in doing their job. I also think if and when male officers search a female there is the concern of being accused of fondling as to where the male officers don't search a female as he would a male. This leads to where we are now.

tejastrex @ 11/29/2007 4:14 AM

Even if male officers choose not to search a female to the full extent, there should be NO REASON why a waistband should be avoid. That should be the FIRST and main place to be searched... if she had it tucked up in inappropriate places, then I could see it being missed more than the waistband...

deltaalpha @ 12/11/2007 4:47 PM

Perhaps a little more training should be enforced here. No need to suspend but certainly both officers should be taken tothe range witha gun of similar calibur and allowed to shoot a piece of plywood or perhaps a water melon as good 'example of what may have happened. Best way to learn is by our mistakes this was a lucky one.

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