Somehow nearly three dozen guns are missing from an abandoned vault in the city of Compton, and former City Manager Cecil Rhambo doesn’t know why. Questions continue to arise as to where they could’ve went, and if this were an inside job.
The Compton Police Department was disbanded in 2000. In 2001 former Mayor Eric Perrodin took office and current ex-City Manager Cecil Rhambo led the transition of the police department moving under the control of the Sheriff. Sources say Rhambo helped with deciphering which former officers would become deputies.
Between 2001 and 2010, it became the mission of Mayor Perrodin to resurrect the police department. He outfitted Code Enforcement officers with guns, the council paid consultant Joseph Rouzan $1 million dollars to produce a feasibility report supporting the departments return, radios were bought then the beloved former Compton Fire Department Battalion Chief Marcel Melanson was charged with theft of the radios and attempted arson of the fire station on Acacia.
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Compton Code Enforcement Officers Carry Firearms in Violation of California Penal Code
Mayor Eric would lose his opportunity to be elected to a fourth term when residents voted in Aja Brown in 2014.
Between 2001 and 2017 the city has had nearly a dozen city manager’s.
In January 2017 it was reported that Cecil Rhambo was selected as the new city manager and by March he had a conversation with a unamed code enforcement officer who made him aware of the stockpile of weapons. It is not public knowledge of how the code enforcement officer came to know this nor is it known if this same code enforcement officer shared this information with any of the previous city managers.
When the missing guns were first reported by ABC7 last month, Rhambo told reporters:
[He] Rhambo ordered the sheriff’s department to inventory the weapons and remove them from city property until the Compton city officials could decide what to do with them.
“There were several people at the time who were working who had the combination. I had access to the combination. But over the years I have no idea the number over 17 years who still had access to that combination,” Rhambo said.
In an article that came out in the Los Angeles Times, Rhambo told reporters the guns were inventoried by the Sheriff’s department in March but didn’t go back to retrieve them until five months later in August.
The city of Compton regularly hosts gun buy back events and it is not known why the Sheriff’s department didn’t take possession of the guns the day it was brought to their attention.
Rhambo told the Times:
“There’s stuff a little too loosey-goosey around here,” said Rhambo.
Rhambo, who arrived at City Hall just over a year ago, said he ordered an inventory of the city’s sensitive property not long afterward.
“I wanted to make sure we could account for those kind of things,” Rhambo said.
This type of lack of security and safeguards are similar to findings in a recently released state audit concerning the city’s finance department. An employee was able to steal $3.7 million dollars under the nose of City Treasurer Doug Sanders and as in the case of the guns and money, there were no operable cameras watching either location.
2UrbanGirls has previously reported how the city spent millions on surveillance cameras for the city streets and parks which are also inoperable. Do any cameras work in this city to stop crime?
Related: Has Compton worked out the kinks in their surveillance equipment
A $10,000 reward has been offered in the return of the stolen guns.
“It is fair to say, it was likely an inside job,” said Charles “Sid” Heal, a retired L.A. County sheriff’s commander and weapons expert told the L.A. Times.
C’mon Mayor and council. Get a fucking clue. You hired a Sheriff that ratted on the sheriffs and he’s still alive? Don’t you think that bitch owes ? Well, this is so fucking obvious to me it makes me literally ill. Do I have to draw you people a fucking picture or what? Next time hire a nice Sunday school teacher or some shit.
If Rhambo isn’t involved, how did his dumb ass fall for this? I’m afraid of him and will sleep better when he’s no longer city manager. And yes, I have my reasons. But the dirty cop he somehow managed to send when I asked for parking enforcement still knows where I live.
I appreciated my councilwoman’s immediate response to the issue, however the letter I wrote to Capt. Thatcher has never been answered. No phone call, no nothing that I am aware of. I’m not sure how somebody parks in front of your driveway with no parking permit like Helen Keller and you get some deputy trying to pound down your security screen door. I asked for city parking enforcement that doesn’t carry guns. I was afraid for my life and my dogs. I KNOW Rhambo did this. If anybody else has had a similar experience please come forward. Shit ain’t right around here.
Can your councilwoman assist with this issue?
She did. It happened last May. However why and how did it happen? My letters have still gone unanswered to Capt. Thatcher. I want a full investigation. Little late since I can’t access my security footage from my cameras anymore. Piggies know and piggies do.
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