Sirens & Gavels

Seattle police leave rifle unattended

This handout photo provided by Nick Gonzalez for editorial purposes only, shows a police rifle left unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, in Seattle. A Seattle police spokesman says the department has launched an investigation into the incident. Rifles are assigned only to officers who have additional training and are usually kept in the trunk or between the driver and passenger seats. ((AP Photo/Nick Gonzalez))
This handout photo provided by Nick Gonzalez for editorial purposes only, shows a police rifle left unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, in Seattle. A Seattle police spokesman says the department has launched an investigation into the incident. Rifles are assigned only to officers who have additional training and are usually kept in the trunk or between the driver and passenger seats. ((AP Photo/Nick Gonzalez))

This handout photo, provided by Nick Gonzalez for editorial purposes only, shows a police rifle left unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nick Gonzalez)

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police spokesman says the department is embarrassed after officers left a police rifle unattended on a patrol car outside a busy downtown area.

Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb says the department has launched an investigation.

Whitcomb says two people spotted the rifle on the parked car. One flagged down bicycle officers to alert them. The other followed the cruiser as it drove through downtown Seattle and tracked down the driver after the car parked.

The alternative weekly The Stranger first reported the incident, posting a picture that shows the rifle sitting on top of the trunk.

Whitcomb says such rifles are assigned only to officers who have additional training. They're usually kept in the trunk or between the driver and passenger seats.




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