DOE's pistols and shotguns
The Education Department's weapons arsenal is larger than I thought.
I wrote last week that the Education Department is purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns, a somewhat surprising purchase for that particular agency.
The guns are being purchased for Education's Office of Inspector General, the department's law enforcement arm, which is responsible for detecting waste, fraud, abuse and other criminal activity involving federal education funds, programs and operations. They will replace aging weapons in the office's possession.
I wanted to know more and asked department officials how many guns were in the office’s arsenal, for what missions weapons would be needed, how many agents carried weapons and whether any shots had ever been fired by an agent on duty.
Here’s what OIG Public Affairs Liaison Catherine Grant told me:
*The Office of the Inspector General has 100 special agents and each is issued a .40-caliber Glock pistol. Agents carry handguns in the regular course of their duties.
*The planned purchase of 27 shotguns will bring the office’s total to 52. Agents carry shotguns when conducting high-risk arrest and search warrant operations, which is standard practice for law enforcement.
*The office’s special agents have never had to discharge their firearms in the line of duty.
The Web site of the inspector general’s office lists by year the many fraud and other investigations in which gun-carrying agents were involved. The list is long--but, really, do the agents need to carry guns?
If anybody knows, please explain in the comments or at email@example.com.
Disclosure: Several segments of Kaplan, the education company owned by The Washington Post Co., are the subject of reviews by the U.S. Department of Education, the company recently reported in its annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cities with campuses under review include Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A Kaplan spokesman said the department "routinely conducts program reviews as part of its oversight."
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| March 18, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories: Education Secretary Duncan | Tags: ed department guns, education department
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