Dayton’s police chief could face discipline and be on the hook for the cost of a new gun if carelessness or negligence is determined during an administrative investigation into the firearm’s theft, according to police policies reviewed by the Dayton Daily News.
Chief Richard Biehl’s Glock 30 .45-caliber pistol was stolen sometime between 6:10 p.m. July 27 and 8 a.m. July 28, according to a Dayton police report and handgun registration forms obtained under records request.
Biehl personally reported the gun missing, said police spokeswoman Cara Zinski-Neace. He was re-issued the same model handgun on July 28, according to a handgun registration form.
But other details about the chief’s location when the gun was stolen and whether it was stolen from his vehicle, person, home or office remain unanswered by city and police officials. Also unclear is whether the chief’s three magazines were stolen, though off-duty officers who do carry guns are required to keep them loaded, according to department policy.
“We don’t comment on any sort of administrative investigation while it’s in process,” Mayor Nan Whaley outside a Dayton City Commission meeting Wednesday.
Biehl, who normally sits up front, was not in attendance. Major Eric Henderson, who sat in the chief’s stead, declined to comment.
Criminal and administrative investigations are ongoing. Should the investigation “reveal the theft, loss, or destruction of the weapon was caused by carelessness or negligence, disciplinary action will be taken, in addition to requiring the officer to reimburse the city … for the purchase price of the weapon,” according to department policy.
Similar weapons retail at sports stores for more than $600.
The Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 first reported the gun’s theft Monday after inquiring with police officials last week when the newsroom received a tip about the theft.
GUNS IN SCHOOL: ‘We have to be ready in seconds and not minutes’
In the past, Dayton police have come forward to the public seeking information about guns stolen from officers.
In December 1994, an off-duty Dayton officer confronted two men who allegedly stole several items from a grocery store at Troy Street and Stanley Avenue, according to newspaper reports. As the men attempted to drive off, their car struck the officer, who landed on the hood and fell to the pavement. His gun and wallet also fell into the street. Witnesses said a woman picked up the officer’s 9 mm semi-automatic service weapon and drove off. Crime Stoppers, in cooperation with area law enforcement, sought information about the gun through the Daily News’ Neighbors section.
In November 2004, Dayton police “issued an urgent appeal” one day after several weapons — a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, an automatic Colt M-16 rifle, a Remington sniper rifle and a Heckler & Koch submachine gun — were stolen from a SWAT team member’s truck outside a Huber Heights Fricker’s restaurant. The guns were stolen between Thursday night and Friday morning and police — acting on a tip — found the weapons on a Saturday.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the dates the weapon was stolen. The article has been updated to reflect correct information.
News Center 7’s Caroline Reinwald and Kate Bartley contributed reporting.