Former Police Officer Wants To Know Why He Was Let Go

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Former Cumberland police officers Owen Petrey and Jeremy Allen were terminated at the end of March.

They say they weren't given any reason why.

One of those officers went to Thursday night's city council meeting to get some answers.

Owen Petrey says he was told the city simply couldn't afford to keep him and the other officer on the payroll.

He says he really became suspicious when the city hired a new officer recently.

He went to the city council meeting hoping to get answers from city officials.

Owen Petrey looked on as the Cumberland City Council worked on their budget for next year.

He says he didn't get a chance to ask city officials why he was let go.

Councilman Charles Raleigh did it for him.

Councilman Charles Raleigh: We hired one new officer but had two let go. What was the financial situation that changed?

Mayor Loretta Cornett: There was no financial difference whatsoever. It was the probationary period.

Cumberland's Mayor, Loretta Cornett, says the officers were still in their first six month probationary period and they were let go after a review.

“It really surprised me when she said probationary period. You still have to have a reason and the reason she gave me was a financial crisis,” Petrey said.

“It's nothing to do with budget issues,” Mayor Cornett said.

Cornett also said that the officers were never told that there release was because of financial issues.

The mayor says they were simply let go and we asked her why.

WYMT: Any particular reason why they were not acceptable enough to pass the probationary period?

Mayor Cornett: No, the city needs academy trained.

The mayor says the newly hired officer has academy training.

Owen Petrey doesn't, but says he would've gotten that training and says he did a good job.
“I did what I was supposed to do. I see no reason for me to have been let go,” Petrey said.

The other officer, Jeremy Allen, was not at the meeting and we weren't able to reach him by phone.

As for Owen Petrey, he says he's meeting with his attorney to discuss his next move.

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