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Tampa officer fined for losing his gun

By TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

TAMPA -- A police officer who lost his gun on Sept. 11 was fined $350 and received a letter of counseling in his personnel file, a Tampa police spokesman said.

Officer Patrick Gray had been working traffic patrol during the Sept. 11 memorial on Bayshore Boulevard. The heavy rains that day drenched his clothing and patrol motorcycle, so he drove back to the police garage on Franklin Street to climb into a cruiser.

There, he changed clothes and placed his gun and holster belt on top of a cruiser, said spokeswoman Katie Hughes. He was trying to dry off his equipment, she said.

Gray then climbed into the car and drove off, forgetting to remove the Glock 9mm from the roof, said Hughes.

The weapon has not been found, she said.

"It was obviously an accident," Hughes said.

An Internal Affairs investigation will not be conducted, she said. But Gray was fined the maximum amount under the union contract for being negligent with police equipment.

Gray has been an officer with Tampa Police since 1995.

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