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New documents detail when former East TN officer lost certification

Cassen Jackson-Garrison is facing 14 charges in a recent indictment from a Knox County Grand Jury, which included at least two juvenile victims.
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 10:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -A former Knoxville and Oak Ridge Police officer was arrested on October 8 following an investigation starting in September.

Cassen Jackson-Garrison is facing 14 charges in a recent indictment from a Knox County Grand Jury, which included at least two juvenile victims.

A KPD spokesperson said Jackson-Garrison began working with the department in 2009 and resigned in 2011, after complaints were brought against him.

In 2015, a man said Jackson-Garrison had sex with his 16-year-old step-daughter while the stepfather was in custody at the Anderson County Jail. The victim’s mother supported these allegations. An investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation determined there was probable cause for that claim to be true, with at least one occurrence happening while Jackson-Garrison was on duty.

The Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission is the agency that certifies every police officer in Tennessee. They provided WVLT News with the guidelines they abide by when certifying an officer.

Some rules are expected, like being 18 or older and having a high school education. But there’s a requirement that seeks to ensure morally sound officers are serving the communities in Tennessee. One of the requirements reads, “Have good moral character as determined by a thorough investigation conducted by the employing agency; and/or the POST Commission.”

The Tennessee P.O.S.T. said they decertified Jackson-Garrison on October 20th, 2016 with a vote. This means that the former East TN officer can no longer be certified in Tennessee, but there is no language in the guidelines that prohibits him from being certified in another state.

In the letter, the Tennessee P.O.S.T. said the decision to decertify was explained.

“While employed by Oak Ridge Police Department you were accused of official misconduct, having sexual misconduct with a minor, and were terminated,” the decision read.

Authorities said it’s possible there are other victims and their investigation remains open. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Special Crimes Unit at 865-215-6810.

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