Investigation reveals Metra`s lack of firearm qualifications - New York News

Investigation reveals Metra`s lack of firearm qualifications

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A scathing report about the Metra Police Department was made public Wednesday night - reveals concerns regarding the lack of rational staffing and patrol plans, excessive overtime and most disturbing - the failure of the department to have undergone firearm qualification training since 2010.

"It fell through the crack a little bit but as soon as we identified that we addressed it and we changed weapons and we started with the process of moving forward," said Don Orseno, Metra's Interim Executive Director.

Hillard Heintze says firearm qualification is now up to date.

"I'm not aware that any police officers discharged their weapon in the line of duty other than actually doing the qualifications, that I am aware of," said Orseno.

The report was conducted by law enforcement consultant agency Hillard Heintze.

Despite the shocking revelations, Metra's Interim Director Don Orseno says passenger safety was never at risk.

"At no time were the passengers unsafe in any way, shape or form," said Orseno.

"Metra is up to date and it met all the requirements on firearms training, use of force, among the most important there so they are up to date in that area," said Arnette Heintze, CEO of Hillard Heintze.

Metra proactively hired the Hillard Heintze nearly two years ago to perform a first-ever assessment of the department's operations. The report was complete in August.

According to the report, the severity of its findings caused Metra officials to ask Hillard Heintze to refrain from the completing the overall assessment temporarily so officials could "oversee the immediate firearm qualification training," and the assess the policies in question.

"They've made changes and are progressing to implement many of the recommendations. Over the last year I know there's been new equipment purchased, new vehicles purchased, I know that the patrolling strategy has started to change," said Heintze.

Since June 2013, uniform and plain clothed officers rode more than three thousand trains.

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