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Police offer deal on officer's missing gun

The North Hudson Police Department is offering whoever took a Hudson police officer's gun and badge from his unmarked car the opportunity to return it, no questions asked.

The police-issue handgun, two badges and police identification belonging to HPD Detective Shawn Pettee was reported missing from his unmarked squad car around Aug. 21.

Because the vehicle was parked in North Hudson at the time of the theft, the investigation is being handled by the NHPD. The theft is believed to have occurred sometime between Aug. 14 and 20.

According to Chief Mark Richert, there have not been any crimes reported involving the stolen handgun, badges or police ID so far, but they do not have any strong leads in the case.

"The North Hudson Police Department would like to offer an opportunity for the person or persons involved to return the handgun, badges and police ID without question to ensure the public can feel comfortable with plain clothes officers and again feel secure in their community," said Richert.

To simplify the process and ensure confidentiality, Richert said that a safe will be placed in the 24-hour vestibule at the North Hudson Village Hall to allow for return of the handgun, badges and police ID in a safe and secure environment.

Whoever took the property would need to place all four items in the safe, lock it using the key and place the key into the lock box also located in the vestibule.

Richert said this procedure will ensure the items will be safe after they have been returned. His department will consider the case closed once all of the items have been received.

"Public safety is the most important goal of this offer of absolution, and the return of these items to the North Hudson Police Department will achieve that goal," said Richert.

The deal has a deadline. The items must be returned to the safe in the North Hudson Village Hall vestibule by 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. If all four items are not returned, the investigation will continue and anyone involved in the crime or disposal of the items will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Richert said that in other cases involving stolen law enforcement weapons and equipment, police departments have made similar offers. Those offers have resulted in the safe return of the property in about 50 percent of the cases.

The chief said the Hudson Police Department has agreed to this procedure, adding that they are confident the person or persons involved will do the right thing, listen to their conscience and return the property.

Richert added, "Police work often involves using discretion when dealing with suspects in criminal activity and weighing what is good for a community versus the good of an individual. In this case, the safety of the community outweighs the prosecution of an individual."