Audit: Guns, drugs, money missing from police evidence unit

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene Police can't account for over 1,000 pieces of evidence, including guns, drugs and jewelry, according to an audit.

The audit also found Eugene Police had not formal procedure regarding what do to if items disappeared.

Now internal affairs and Oregon State Police are investigating the Property Control Unit as police work to build a new system for storing and tracking evidence.

"It was alarming to see some of the extent of our shortcomings and disappointing," Chief Pete Kerns said. "The internal affairs investigation will help us understand if the quality of our performance of our employees has anything to do with it."

Kerns said the department has been working to fix the problems since the audit last August. Those changes include assigning 7 additional people to the Property Control Unit.

"With the increased staffing, we can improve the efficiency of the systems, we can afford to research the new software that we have that can make things run better," Kerns said.

The audit also found problems with packaging and labeling evidence, safekeeping items and documentation.

The missing items date back to 1990. The auditor found no process in place for attempting to locate items determined to be missing from the property unit.