The Marion County Tribune

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Disturbance In The GCSO Force

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 12:57 pm




The findings of an audit by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission have led to the suspension of two higher ups at the neighboring Grundy County Sheriff’s Office.

Grundy County Sheriff Heath Gunter issued a press release this week that stated an internal investigation will be launched regarding allegations made by several employees to an investigator conducting the P.O.S.T Commission audit. Audit findings were provided to Gunter on July 21. The press release was dated July 25.

“The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office takes these allegations seriously. We will cooperate with the P.O.S.T. commission and their investigation as we complete a thorough and transparent investigation of our own. Once completed, our findings will be presented to the public and the media,” stated Gunter.

Gunter also announced that he has suspended Chief Deputy Brandon King and Sergeant Shawn Norris pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

Marion Tribune’s sister paper, The Grundy County Herald obtained a copy of the P.O.S.T Commission investigation report written by Investigator Bruce Cantrelle. Within the report, he states that several confidential sources made allegations to him during his time conducting the audit. To protect their identities, they are referred to only as CS #1, CS #2, CS #3, etc.

CS #2 alleged that Chief Deputy King hindered the booking process of an arrestee.

“Chief King halted the booking process alleging that the charge was incorrect. Allegedly, Chief King made the jail staff house the arrestee in holding until she saw a Judge on Monday morning. It was also alleged that the arrestee is a cousin of Chief King,” said Cantrelle.

CS #1 alleged that he “lied over the radio to initiate a pursuit.”

“Confidential source (CS) #1 alleged that Deputy Norris alleged that the driver fled from a traffic stop. The CS was posted ahead of the pursuit to assist and found out prior to the fleeing vehicle reaching them that Deputy Norris never stopped the vehicle. The CS decided to not assist due to potential legal issues with the situation,” said Cantrelle.

Confidential sources also alleged that the administration allowed noncertified officers to patrol solo and work as SROs solo. The audit specifically named at least two deputies, one male and one female.

Cantrelle says he uncovered proof of that allegation in an April 16, 2023, CAD [computer aided dispatch] card regarding a pursuit that included the uncertified male deputy. It allegedly documented his involvement in the incident. Additionally, the male deputy was questioned and allegedly admitted to working as a full-time officer and working by himself since he started.

The female deputy abruptly resigned from the department. She was not questioned.

Among other allegations, Cantrelle also says that ACADIS records are not being updated. Acadis is training and compliance software used by police, federal, EMS, fire and rescue.

“Things like employment history, training, etc. had deficiencies. Some current and former deputies did not show Grundy County Sheriff’s Office in their records,” said Cantrelle.

Serving as the primary regulatory body for Tennessee law enforcement, the P.O.S.T. Commission develops and enforces standards for law enforcement agencies statewide including physical, educational, and proficiency skills requirements for both employment and training.

Additional information will be provided as received.