Grundy Co. Sheriff talks about training following officer-involved shooting
Part-time officers are not required to be certified by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T. Commission. They also do not have to complete a law enforcement training academy.
It's been more than two weeks since 20-year-old Shelby Comer was found shot dead inside of a car off of B Mine Road in Grundy County and TBI agents still won't say how Shelby died.
Comer was found shot to death inside a Ford Mustang two days before Christmas. That same car was pulled over earlier in the day.
The driver, 32-year-old Jacky Bean, is accused of pointing a firearm at the part-time deputy who pulled him over and hitting his police cruiser.
Officials say the Mustang was facing the deputy's cruiser at the time it took off towards the deputy, who fired several times into the car, before it sped away.
Channel 3 has since learned the part-time deputy who fired the shot that may have hit Shelby Comer, did not receive police academy training.
Sheriff Clint Shrum says Deputy Mike Holmes, as a part-time officer, is not state certified, but is still in compliance with state standards.
"Just because a person has not gone to that training academy does not mean that they're not qualified to work as a deputy or police officer part time," said Sheriff Clint Shrum.
Holmes was trained by the Grundy County Sheriff's Department and he's the department's only part-time deputy. Shrum employees 17 full time officers.
According to state standards, part-time deputies can work 20 hours a week and not more than 100 hours a month, unless on special temporary assignment.
Part-time officers are not required to be certified by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training, or P.O.S.T. Commission. They also do not have to complete a law enforcement training academy, but Shrum says that makes them no less fit to serve and respond.
"The word uncertified you know scares people and they think well you know they'll just hire anybody, but I guarantee you this, there is a ton of uncertified, part time, auxiliary, reserve deputies across this state," said Sheriff Shrum.
Part-time officers must complete at least 80 hours of initial training with the county that employees them and another 40 hours of in-service training each year. Certified full time officers attend an initial 12-week law enforcement academy then complete an annual 40 hours of in-service training each year.
The county would not allow us to inspect Holmes' personnel file, citing the on-going TBI investigation into the shooting, but Shrum says all officers are required to meet a list of minimum qualifications.
"We don't just have a part time guy running around with a gun on, " said Sheriff Shrum. " He's been trained and he came to us with 5 years of training prior to being part time at the Grundy County Sheriff's Office."
Deputy Holmes is back on duty, after being placed on a standard two-week leave.
"There's been a couple of debriefings and we've got to make sure we take care of our people as well as the community too because the community needs to grieve and it's been difficult for all of that to happen here because there's been so many rumors," said Sheriff Shrum.
The TBI continues its investigation into Comer's death. Those findings will be passed on to the District Attorney to take a look at the case.
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"We're looking for some answers as well, " said Sheriff Shrum. " There's some things that we can't discuss, that we believe will come out as part of the investigation."
Jacky bean, the man Comer was riding with, is now facing charges including attempted first degree murder. Officials say Bean has an extensive criminal background including aggravated assault, drugs and weapons charges and he is well known to the department.
"My part-time deputy makes $10.50 an hour and he's out here trying to protect the community," said Sheriff Shrum. "We want them to be prepared for anything that they face and unfortunately we don't always get to pick the situation that we're in."
"We just have to react and it's tough sometimes," Sheriff Shrum added. "So we're dealing with that now in this agency."