A Pine Bluff Police detective who was suspended after he was unable to find his off-duty gun has appealed that suspension to a civilian review panel.

A Pine Bluff Police detective who was suspended after he was unable to find his off-duty gun has appealed that suspension to a civilian review panel.

Detective Charles Marty Harrison said during a hearing Wednesday, “I didn’t lose the firearm. It was at home where I thought it was.”

Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones placed Harrison and Assistant Chief of Police Ivan Whitfield on administrative leave on Feb. 2 after separate investigations into missing weapons.

On Feb. 10, Davis-Jones suspended Harrison for 10 days without pay and fired Whitfield, who was reinstated by the city council the following Monday.

“I was placed on administrative leave at 2:30 p.m., and by 3:30 I had turned in the gun,” Harrison said. “It was in the closet where I thought it was, but it wasn’t in the exact place I thought it was.”

Harrison said he and his wife had been remodeling their house and used the closet to store a number of items, including pots and pans from the kitchen.

He said the gun had been stored in the closet, wrapped in a towel, and had fallen behind a bin and could not be seen without moving the bin.

“I called my wife and told her I had been placed on administrative leave and she said she knew where it (the gun) was,” Harrison said. “She was trying to teach me a lesson in looking for things myself.

“It was just a bad time because of the other incident (with Chief Whitfield),” Harrison said. “I didn’t lose my my firearm. It was at home.”

Harrison initially reported that he was unable to locate the gun on Jan. 16, but earlier said that he had not seen in for more than a year and hadn’t really looked for it because he saw the towel in the closet and thought the gun was there.

“A gun is like a child,” Davis-Jones said. “You have to know where it is.

“It’s important to keep up with your weapon,” Davis-Jones said. “With gun violence on the rise, we don’t need more guns on the street and I thought that warranted 10 days off.”

The chief also said it wasn’t like Harrison had lost a piece of equipment like a flashlight or a radio.

“I do not tolerate officers not taking care of their equipment,” she said. “We have to hold officers to a higher standard and losing a weapon is something we don’t tolerate. If it had been a flashlight or a radio, he may have gotten less time off.”

She said she also based her decision on the fact that Harrison knew the gun was missing and did not report it, saying that if he had reported that it was missing, the weapon could have been entered into the National Crime Information System database as lost or stolen.

“Then if he found it, we could have taken it out of the system,” Davis-Jones said.

She also said that Harrison’s supervisor, Deputy Chief Kelvin Sergeant — who is in charge of the Detective Division and to whom Harrison had reported the gun missing — agreed with her decision to suspend Harrison for 10 days. Davis-Jones said Harrison had not been the subject of disciplinary action in the past.

Questioned by Assistant City Attorney Daryl Taylor, Harrison said he didn’t report the gun missing initially because he trusted his wife, who said she knew where the gun was.

“I just wish I had pushed a little harder,” he said.

Harrison agreed with Taylor’s comment that it was not his wife’s job to report the gun missing.

In addition to Taylor, the review committee consisted of Fire and Emergency Services Lt. Harold Clark and Steve Stephens, Maintenance Department director.

The committee has 10 days to determine whether to let the suspension stand as is, modify it or reverse it.