Two officer-involved shootings and another officer charged with domestic violence has shaken the Georgetown Police Department, stretching an already short-handed department.
Because of this past weekend’s events, GPD has placed eight officers on administrative leave with the fate of another officer uncertain pending a disciplinary review. It is routine for police officers involved in a shooting to be placed on administrative leave pending a full review and investigation of the incident.
Two officer-involved shootings within a 36-hour period this week is stretching the police department’s resources, but Chief Michael Bosse said the department is banding together to fill the gaps.
“Our off-duty officers are coming in on their days off,” Bosse said. “We are fortunate that our off-duty officers are willing to help out.”
GPD currently has 55 officers with two officers in the process of being hired. The city’s 2021-22 budget is expected to allow the police department to hire five more officers, as the city council approved a tax on insurance premiums and passed a 911 fee that frees of funds from the general fund. That revenue has been verbally earmarked by the council to help hire first responders, including the police officers.
Last year, the city surveyed some 18 peer cities which revealed Georgetown’s police and fire departments are short-staffed and underpaid. Mayor Tom Prather has given the council a plan to hire additional police officers over a five-year period.
“This illustrates the importance of being adequately staffed,” Bosse said. “We talk about a number of staff that is normal, but we don’t deal with normal.”
On Friday, police officers shot and killed a DeShund Tanner, 31, who police say was attempting to carjack an occupied car at the McDonalds on Connector Road. Tanner was reportedly carrying a gun and pointed it at police when he was shot and killed.
Sunday morning, police were responding to a call of an individual who was threatening to hurt themselves on Jefferson Street. When police arrived they spoke with an individual outside the residence when a woman appeared with a firearm, police said. A confrontation ensued, shots were fired and the woman Stephanie Litteral was wounded and taken to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital where she was treated and released. Litteral has since been charged with menacing and first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer.
The Kentucky State Police is investigating both incidents at the request of the Georgetown Police Department. All officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
Officer Jason Christopher and his wife, Sandra, were each arrested following a domestic dispute, said Sgt. Eddie Hart of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. They are each charged with fourth-degree assault, minor injury.
“When we released we were being called to an officer’s residence, we immediately notified the Sheriff’s Office because of the obvious conflict,” Bosse said. “The Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.”
Information on the incident is still being gathered, and no permanent decision has been made on Christoper’s status with the department, the chief said.
“But I can assure the public we take situations like this very, very seriously,” he said.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.