JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- With the dust settling over the police exodus in Jacksboro on Monday, conflicting stories are coming to light.
By Monday afternoon, three-quarters of the already lean Jacksboro Police Department had resigned leaving only one officer fully employed by the town. Chief Jeremy Goins, along with officers Jordan Husky and Allen Baumgardner, had left the force leaving only Franklin Ayers.
The chief’s position was quickly filled by the man who had just been approved to fill the assistant chief’s job- LaFollette Police Officer Daniel Smith.
Late yesterday afternoon, Jacksboro Mayor Shayne Greene insisted he wasn’t clear why the men left their jobs.
“I don’t know. I guess they found a better job,” he said standing in the police department. Green said the department has been short staffed. Earlier in the day, Green said he spoke with Aldermen Jerri Starrett and Jimmy Snodderly receiving their approval to hire Smith as the assistant chief.
The mayor told Goins he had hired an assistant chief and asked Goins to swear him in.
“He hired someone without my knowledge. I felt this was wrong so I resigned. I gave my heart and soul to the city. I live here and I care about this city. This was my dream job, and I did not make this decision lightly,” Goins said.
On Saturday, around 8:15 pm, Jacksboro Police received a call of a wreck near Walmart. When officers arrived, there were “about four side-by-sides there, and law enforcement suspected some of the drivers of being intoxicated,” Goins said. JPD Officer Jordan Husky administered sobriety tests and “everyone passed,” Goins said.
“While officers were conducting the investigation, the mayor showed up and interjected himself into the investigation. He (the mayor) told Jordan Husky to arrest everyone,” Goins said.
Husky allegedly informed the mayor he could not arrest anyone as they had passed the sobriety test. The individuals were cited for having unauthorized off-road vehicles on the streets. They were made to retrieve their trailer to get the off road vehicles off the streets.
According to Goins, he and his officers had to do what was “one hundred percent correct and follow the rules of the law.”
“This upset the mayor who told Husky to call me about whether or not to arrest the individuals. After that Husky resigned. He felt like he was being overstepped by the mayor,” Goins said.
Afterwards, Goins called the vice mayor and “made her aware of it and said we weren’t going to be pushed around this way.”
Green and Goins allegedly had “multiple conversations” in the days after with Green formally asking Goins for his resignation, according to Goins.
“I really don’t know why they left,” Green said on Monday afternoon. He denied any conflict in the department adding “I am not going to say anything negative about any of those guys.”
Despite only having Smith and Ayers, who received a battlefield promotion to assistant chief on Monday, Green said the town is safe.
“People are not without police protection,” Green said.
Earlier in the day, WLAF spoke with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office who confirmed it would be assisting Jacksboro with its calls. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 10/04/2022- 6AM)