After Guns and Money Go Missing, Braintree Police Chief Retires
Earlier this year, Braintree Police Chief Russell Jenkins ordered an audit of the department’s evidence room. A hunch that there was trouble in the room proved to be true when the audit revealed a huge amount of evidence had gone missing.
According to the Boston Globe, more than $400,000 in cash, thousands of drug samples, and between 60 and 70 guns were unaccounted for. Now, Chief Jenkins has announced his retirement. In a letter to the mayor of Braintree, Jenkins wrote that it had been and honor and a privilege to serve as the chief of police for the last four years. His last day is October 7.
The audit, which has brought the department under scrutiny, examined evidence records dating to 1999. According to the Globe, evidence room officer Susan Zopatti had been in charge of the room since 2013 and had worked in Braintree for 20 years. One week after the auditor initially spoke with Zopatti in May, she killed herself.
Since the conclusion of the audit, about $140,000 of the missing cash and almost all of the guns were recovered. According to the Patriot Ledger, a total of 22 cases so far have been thrown out because of the missing evidence.
Braintree Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan commended Jenkins’ service to the police department in a statement.
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