Six missing bags of marijuana plants, guns and ammo in evidence lockers without case numbers — these are just a few of the problems highlighted in a report on the Soap Lake Police Department.
An outside investigation by the Moses Lake Police Department and two other agencies found that Soap Lake police officers didn’t receive required training.
On top of that, evidence was improperly logged or placed in different insecure areas.
In one case, a rape kit was found in a refrigerator next to the police chief’s lunch.
The report also said there were significant problems with the department’s hiring process.
The report highlights a broken system for logging criminal evidence. It also cited mishandled drugs. Case in point: An officer who took home seized marijuana only to report his dog ate the drugs.
Another audit found DNA evidence stuck to the inside of former Chief Jim Dorris’ refrigerator. The report also points out that training hours were falsified.
Gravelle says the chief said he didn’t have the money to pay his officers to train.
“Ultimately the council voted unanimously in favor of rebuilding Soap Lake’s police department. So that’s my mission now,” said Gravelle.
The police chief and one other officer have stepped down; former chief Dorris is said to be on the East Coast recovering from a serious medical condition.