The new Sheriff in Grundy County is conducting an internal audit. This, comes after a TBI investigation into the department back in March under the watch of former Sheriff Brent Myers.
That investigation ended up with former deputy Deke Mathew Stone facing official misconduct charges in July and one count of theft under $1,000 dollars. The TBI says Stone took three handguns from the evidence lockup. Officials said he had left his job with the department before the TBI began began their case in August. Sheriff Clint Shrum was officially sworn into the office as Sheriff, September 1ST. He is wasting no time to initiate the internal investigation and says an evidence room audit is necessary.
Former Grundy County Court House Worker, Diane Campbell tells Channel 3 Eyewitness news the relationship between the County Sheriff's Office and the community here is less than perfect.
"Well I think it's been strained for a while," said Campbell.
She and others say they lost trust in the Department after former Deputy Deke Mathew Stone was charged with stealing 3 handguns from the evidence room. Now new Sheriff Clint Shrum tells channel 3 he hopes to restore faith in the community with a full evidence room audit
"We're trying to restore confidence and the integrity and the professionalism that the community should have with the Sheriff's Office," said Sheriff Shrum.
Over the next several months, deputies will be working with ATF agents to run an E-Trace check on the 329 guns stored in the evidence room.
"We may have some that were stolen that need to be returned to the owners, we may have some that are a part of cases current and we may have some that need to be disposed of and so that's why we brought the ATF in to make sure we maintain the integrity of the cases," said Sheriff Shrum.
They'll re-open past cases to look for discrepancies, Sheriff Shrum says he also plans to add security to the courthouse.
"I think it's a great idea because we really need security in the court room we've never had it before and you don't know who might come in and start shooting or whatever," said Campbell.
Residents here say they're ready for the change, new rules and higher standards.
"People are going to be keeping an eye on him to see how he's doing, I will too... I'm going to be watching," said Campbell.
In addition to adding security at the courthouse Sheriff Shrum says he is banning all tobacco products from coming into the jail for staff and inmates.
The Sheriff says he is also working to assign new patrol zones North and South of the county to decrease emergency response times. Officials say the audit will be a long tedious process. At this time it's unclear exactly how long it will take for the ATF agents to finish.