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Officer Relieved of Duty - Badge, Gun Taken

web posted June 27, 2014

JOHNSTON An on duty Johnston Police Officer was relieved of his duties Sunday night, June 22, after reaching out to an Edgefield County Sheriff's Shift Sergeant around 8 or 8:30 pm. After a brief conversation, the officer was asked to turn over his badge and gun and relieved of his duties. Another Sheriff's Deputy was called in to finish the officer's shift, Johnston Mayor Terrance Culbreath said Thursday.

Mayor Culbreath said that the officer has not been suspended, placed on leave, or fired at this time. "It's a delicate situation," Culbreath said. "We're going to treat it like anyone else getting hurt on the job. Technically he's hurt, he's sick." Mayor Culbreath said the officer did the right thing in "reaching out" to the Sheriff's Shift Sergeant so that he could get the help he needed.

"He (the officer) has a boat load of time built up," Culbreath said, and that currently he is being allowed to use that time "as he sees fit" while he is out of work. "That could have been a bad situation, for him and others, and he reached out, so we're going to let him take his time," Culbreath said, adding that he would like to see the officer return to duty if he so chooses at a later date.

According to information obtained by Edgefield Daily, the officer made a post to his FaceBook page at 7:09 pm Sunday (above) saying, "Psychiatric help is needed quickly. Send me information please & thank you." That was just over an hour before he reached out to a fellow officer for help.

Edgefield County Sheriff's Captain Chris Wash confirmed the incident took place during a conversation on Monday, however, no incident report from the Sheriff's Office or the Johnston Police Department has been provided although such has been requested.

Johnston Police Chief Chris Aston is out of town and was unable to be reached for comment. He resigned earlier this month and will leave the job in about two weeks.

Editor's note: Due to the sensitive nature of the matter, the officer's name is not being released at this time, though many locals already know his identity.

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