Policeman tries to get rid of squirrel at Dollar General but ends up losing his job
Dollar General needed help with a squirrel in their building.
A Mountain City policeman who was planning to run for sheriff has been fired from his police job after a run-in with a squirrel.
It all happened a little over two weeks ago at a Dollar General store in Johnson County.
Mountain City Police Officer Jody Putnam was called out and when he got to the store a squirrel had gotten into the building what Putnam did next seems to have cost him his job.
Jody Putnam, now a former Mountain City Police Officer, was on duty when Dollar General needed help with a squirrel in their building.
According to police department records, Putnam, who says he is still running for sheriff of the county, fired his gun inside the store.
"Shooting back there, of course that should not have been, that should not have happened," said property owner Carl Duffield.
But that didn't work, so he tried another weapon.
Duffield said, "then they began to spray it with mace and pepper spray."
And the mace affected more than just the squirrel.
"There was a lot of people that come out and just like me they came out and they were coughing and a hacking it was comical," said Duffield, "but I'm sure they didn't feel that way, the customers that came out."
Neither did the town of Mountain City and its police department.
According to the policy and procedures for the department, whenever an officer fires his gun he must immediately report it to a supervisor, then make a written statement.
Putnam refused to make a report.
"Through a violation of the police department policy Officer Jody Putnam's employment, as a Mountain City Police Officer, was terminated by the Board of Mayor and Alderman," said Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble.
Putnam was fired on October 2nd.
News Channel 11 looked through Putnam's personnel file Wednesday there was not much except for certifications and details about his firing.
Putnam worked with Mountain City Police for five years. Before that he worked with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department. He resigned there after 14 years.
We contacted Dollar General headquarters to see if we could get the surveillance video, but they refused to release the tape.
Putnam has posted a long response to the issue on his Facebook page which was created in August when he began his run for sheriff.
"I assure you that was totally inaccurate and I did not just get out of my car and start popping off rounds. I gratefully appreciate Dollar General for standing by me, because they actually know what happened, and are not happy with what happened to me. I also am thankful for everyone of you who have stood by my side through this, and I assure you I did not put one life in jeopardy at all," he wrote on Wednesday.
"I refused to sign the paperwork due to the fact that there is certain steps that are to be taken by administration when conducting an administrative investigation of a law enforcement officer. I know these procedures because I have administrative experience. .... So yes I am guilty of insubordination for refusing to sign the paperwork. So you can form whatever opinion of me that you want, at this point in time I am no longer going to defend myself anymore."