Sheriff Jim Hammond says his office acted swiftly and decisively in terminating the employment of 33 year old Willie Greer, charged with aggravated rape and conduct unbecoming an officer.
"He was relieved of duty this afternoon. CID immediately took him into custody and charged him with aggravated rape. He has been booked into the jail. As soon as we were notified by the victim, we did start our CID investigation which very quickly led to this conclusion."
The alleged incident happened during a traffic stop by Greer earlier this week, which led to charges being filed by the victim.
"This is a particularly egregious to my officers to know that a fellow officer would break the training, the rules, the regulation, the policy, the procedure, because it is always difficult for us to hold ourselves in a position where we are careful not to disrespect the public. I'm afraid that has happened in this case. I'm sad that this happened but we must make sure these things never exist."
Greer was still on a probationary status, just three months into his employment with the sheriff's department. Hammond says he was formerly a campus officer at Chattanooga State Community College. A routine background check was performed on Greer prior to his hire.
"He was what we call a lateral hire, someone who was already certified. The vetting process was normal, there was nothing to indicate that this kind of behavior might happen, no reason to believe that this would have occurred. "
Hammond says this incident affects the entire office.
"The integrity of the officer is very important to me personally, as it is to the rest of the team. I can tell you that there are a lot of officers out here that, once one of the officers comes under this kind of cloud, it does affect all of the officers who know that their integrity is the most important thing they hold. They are entrusted by the public to do the right thing."