State police in New York say they erred by failing to alert the public last fall that troopers were looking for four shotguns that had fallen out of a Syracuse University campus security vehicle.

University public safety department officials announced Monday that the officer responsible for securing the firearms after an October training session at a firing range outside Syracuse had been disciplined for losing the weapons.

After the guns were discovered missing, university officers immediately notified state police and a search was launched, but the guns were never found.

College officials didn't alert the public in October and neither did troopers, who routinely send out dozens of news releases each day on arrests for minor crimes.

A state police commander in the Syracuse area told WSTM-TV (bit.ly/1S01t6r) the agency should've sent out a statement in October.