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Officer fired after run in with squirrel
By Lauren Haviland, Digital Journalist Mountain City, TN (WJHL) - A Mountain City officer has been fired after a run-in with a squirrel. Yup, it seems nuts, but 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 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. Dollar General headquarters were contacted to see if we could get the surveillance video, but they refused to release the tape.