Selmer sacks two policemen

By John Philleo

The Selmer Police Department  dismissed two patrol officers last week, according to Chief Neal Burks.

Officers Christopher Reynolds and Jody Smith have been dismissed.

Reynolds, a 4-year veteran with the SPD, was dismissed May 3 due to an administrative investigation, according to a press release from the department. 

The investigation concluded that Officer Reynolds violated departmental policy in use of unauthorized transport techniques that resulted in injury to the prisoner in his custody. 

Burks has turned the findings over to the District Attorney General’s office for review to determine if any criminal wrongdoing occurred during this incident.

Due to the fact that this matter has been turned over to the District Attorney General’s office, no further information on Reynolds was released.

Smith, a three-year veteran with the department, was dismissed following discrepancies on an accident report that was investigated by Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Larry Forsythe, Burks said Monday.

“The investigator determined that there were enough discrepancies that we had to take this action,” Burks said.

When asked if there had been any past instances of this nature concerning Smith, Burks said he could not comment further on the case. 

Smith has officially appealed his dismissal to the Selmer Board of Mayor and Aldermen, though as of Monday, Reynolds had not yet appealed, Burks said.

The chief said both officers had 10 days from their termination to file an appeal, and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen has 20 days from the date of the filing to set a hearing.

The loss of the two officers leaves the force — which usually has a total of 18 members, including the chief — shorthanded. 

“Some of the officers are having to work overtime,” Burks said.

Despite the strain on the force’s human resources, no move has yet been made to begin the hiring process, Burks said.

“We can’t do anything until all this becomes final,” he said. “I don’t want to rush anything on these two officers. I want everything for them that they can possibly get, but on the second hand, I want to get (the positions) filled as quickly as I can.”

He said the officers are entitled to their due process before the dismissals become final.

“And I want them to have it,” he said.