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Simpsonville police officer arrested for burglary

The Sentinel-News,
BYLINE: Lisa King
Putnam, KY

Putnam charged with break-in at Simpsonville P.D.

2016-01-07_police officer arrested_01
Terry Putnam

Two months after the Simpsonville Police Department was burglarized, and robbed of thousands of dollars, plus guns and drugs, one of the department’s own has been arrested and charged in connection with the crime.

Simpsonville Police officer Terry Putnam, 54, was arrested in connection with the break-in at about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, said Kentucky State Police spokesperson Bernis Napier.

Although Napier would not elaborate on the specific circumstances surrounding the arrest, he did say that Putnam was on duty when he was taken into custody.

Napier said that Putnam, an officer of 23 years, is charged with first-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, theft by unlawful taking (firearm), 2 counts, first-degree criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking (controlled substance), official misconduct, and tampering with physical evidence.

Simpsonville City Administrator David Eaton declined to speak to the issue.

“I have no comment, this is a Kentucky State Police investigation,” he said. “Any comments would have to come from the state police.”

When asked about Putnam’s state of employment, he said that decision would rest with the Simpsonville City Commission.

Later in the evening, at Thursday night's meeting of the Simpsonville City Commission, the commission voted to suspend Putnam without pay until the conclusion of the case.

Napier said that KSP troopers searched Putnam’s residence shortly after arresting him.

“They were looking for evidence of the crime of the burglary to see if they could find any of the items that were stolen from the evidence room at his residence,” he said, adding that he could not speak to the findings of that search.

Putnam was officially booked at the Shelby County Detention Center before being taken to another location for incarceration, said Napier.

“They had to bring him to Shelby County to book him because the crime occurred in Shelby County, then they took him to Oldham County,” he said. “They wouldn’t take him to Shelby County, because that’s where he would take people [he arrested]. They were going to bring him to Post 12 to interview him first.”

KSP conducted polygraph tests on all the employees at Simpsonville PD, but would not say if the results of that test led to Putnam’s arrest.

“I asked that [of investigators] and they said they did not want to release any of the polygraph information because the investigation is still ongoing,” he said.

Minnis could not be reached for comment.

Napier said that Minnis was cooperative throughout the entire investigation, and that he was the one that contacted KSP when a Simpsonville Police Officer discovered the break-in at 1 a.m. on the morning on Nov. 6.

That’s when $30,000 was discovered missing from the department’s evidence locker, as well as narcotics and handguns.

The investigation involved interviewing officers and others as well as polygraphs, Minnis had said, adding that nothing was found missing from the rest of the building, which contains the Simpsonville City offices.

Putnam was hired at Simpsonville in Oct. 2013, after serving on the Shelbyville Police Department from 2010 to 2012. He moved to Shelby County in 2009 from Florida, where he had been a deputy sheriff.

At the onset, Minnis had expressed outrage at the incident, saying that whoever did it had “crossed the line.”

"We will be seeking the maximum penalty when they are apprehended,” he said at the time.

[caption id="attachment_6432" align="alignleft" width="300"]An investigation is underway into a breakin at the Simpsonville Police Department in which $30,000 was stolen in addition to guns and drugs. An investigation is underway into a breakin at the Simpsonville Police Department in which $30,000 was stolen in addition to guns and drugs.

An investigation is underway into a breakin at the Simpsonville Police Department in which $30,000 was stolen in addition to guns and drugs. Lisa King
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