A civilian employee of the Tulare Police Department was arrested Friday on suspicion of embezzlement, evidence tampering and possession of controlled substances.
Gary Coffman, an 18-year employee, was arrested around 8:20 p.m.
In February, the Police Department hired an independent consulting firm, Evidence Control Systems Inc., to conduct an audit of the property and evidence function of the department, police said.
During an evidence inventory, it was discovered that items were missing or tampered with, police said. On April 26, Coffman and another evidence technician responsible for maintaining the property and evidence room were placed on administrative leave pending a criminal and internal affairs investigation.
At the request of the Police Department, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is conducting the independent criminal investigation.