Report: Homeland Security Lost More Than 1,300 Badges and Credentials
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that over the last 31 months, more than 1,300 badges and credentials were lost or stolen, and another 165 firearms had also gone missing.
According to a spreadsheet found by CompleteColorado.com listing the damaged and destroyed items from DHS employees, around 900 of the lost or stolen badges were from the sub-agency Customs and Border Protection, around 300 were from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and another 200 were from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
When CompleteColorado.com reached out to the DHS for comment, the department "did not provide meaningful answers to questions about the losses" nor did it provide any additional information about the missing guns and identification badges.
This comes on top of a previous report showing that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport alone reportedly had 1,400 badges stolen or lost over the last two years. The discrepancies between the numbers being reported by Homeland Security and from the 2015 report are not a good sign for the department’s transparency.
Former Homeland Security Undersecretary and FEMA Director Michael Brown released a statement to CompleteColorado.com about the massive amounts of lost security passes and badges:
“Law enforcement credentials, badges or ID cards can be used to access areas closed to the public, restricted access areas, and allow a person to pose as a law enforcement official where lax inspection of the credential to match it with the person carrying it allows that person entry to restricted areas. Possession of these kinds of credentials gives terrorists or criminals the basic information needed to counterfeit other credentials. For example, a terrorist cell could use these credentials or counterfeited credentials to access public events posing as law enforcement officials, bypassing security measures designed to detect explosives or other contraband.”
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