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Larry Prince Accused of Selling Guns From Armory, Taking Funds
REDMOND, Ore. -- Since Dec. 30 Redmond Police Lt. Larry Wayne Prince, 48, has been on paid administrative leave. Now, after nearly a month-long criminal investigation, he's behind bars. Prince was arrested in Coos Bay for official misconduct, first degree theft and forgery.
"It's horrible -- that's a terrible thing," Crooked River Ranch Resident Sue Schneider said Wednesday. "This is the first time I've heard about it, and I really can't believe it, actually."
Redmond Police Chief Dave Tarbet had the Oregon State Police step in to investigate Prince after "irregularities and discrepancies" were discovered in the firearms inventory, and the armory Prince was in charge of.
"We made sure that is was followed up properly," Tarbet said Wednesday. "It wasn't hidden, or let go by the wayside."
Locals wondered if a member of the police force could be accused of selling the station's guns, what else could be going on?
"Who knows what else they're doing?" Redmond resident Danny Kilmer said. "Like, if they confiscate drugs of the street, what are they doing with them? Are they being sold? Are they being put away? It just makes you kind of wonder with what's going on now if they're not really more corrupt."
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said he doesn't want Prince's arrest to tarnish the badge of the police department.
"There are some improvements that are going to be taken in our administrative procedures to make sure it doesn't happen again," Endicott said. "But you know, what's the old adage, saying? You know you don't want one bad apple to spoil the whole barrel, and that's where we are."
Here's the initial news release from Tarbet:
After a nearly one-month criminal investigation requested by Redmond Police Chief Dave Tarbet, Oregon State Police detectives arrested a Redmond police lieutenant Tuesday, accused of selling guns from the department's inventory and other wrongdoing.
The arrest is connected to irregularities and discrepancies discovered in the Redmond Police Department’s firearms / armory inventory and items he is alleged to have personally sold while he was in charge of that program.
On February 8, 2011, OSP Criminal Investigations Division detectives assisted by OSP patrol troopers and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested Larry Wayne Prince, 48, without incident in Coos Bay.
Prince, who has been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 30, was taken into custody and lodged in the Coos County Jail for Official Misconduct in the First Degree, Theft in the First Degree, and Forgery in the First Degree.
Chief Tarbet requested the criminal investigation after a recent inventory audit discovered irregularities, possible missing funds, and firearms and accessories missing from the department’s armory supply.
Prince was in charge of the department’s firearms program and armory for about ten years until those responsibilities were assigned to another supervisor for administrative reasons. Prince joined the department in 1994.
“I am deeply disappointed regarding the circumstances surrounding this arrest and that the badge of the Redmond Police Department may have been tarnished in the eyes of some people," Tarbet said.
"As a result of this investigation, we have already made changes to ensure this will not happen in the future after identifying how we can improve our inventory management of this program. However, I am proud of the integrity and courage displayed by several employees during this time and I also appreciate the tenacious efforts of the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division detectives. We will continue to support and work with them until the case is closed,” said Tarbet.
Tarbet asked the community for their continued support and understanding during the ongoing criminal and internal investigations.
“The Redmond Police Department staff and officers are hardworking, honest, and ethical men and women whose intentions are to serve the citizens of this community. I am very proud of my staff and have never worked with a finer team of law enforcement professionals,” he said.
No other information will be released related to the ongoing OSP criminal investigation without approval from the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Patrick Flaherty released this news release early Wednesday afternoon:
Yesterday, the Oregon State Police arrested Larry Prince in Coos Bay, Oregon..
The District Attorney’s Office was contacted on January 4, 2010 by Redmond Police Department and requested to assist in the investigation of Redmond Police Lt. Larry Prince. During the last month, the District Attorney’s Office has worked in conjunction with the Oregon State Police investigating Prince for offenses ranging from Official Misconduct to Theft in the First Degree.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Traci Anderson worked closely with the lead OSP detectives providing legal counsel and assisting in the preparation of search warrants.
District Attorney Patrick Flaherty said “I am grateful that Chief Tarbet and his officers immediately brought this matter to our attention. It speaks volumes for the integrity of the Redmond Police Department that as soon as they discovered one of their own may have engaged in misconduct, they requested OSP and the District Attorney’s Office to assume their investigation.”
Flaherty said that “Public corruption will not be tolerated in Deschutes County.”
Information regarding Prince’s first appearance in court will be available after his transport from Coos to Deschutes County. No further information will be released prior to arraignment.
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