Sheriff Hammond Sits Down with News 12

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Ian undergoing an assessment by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement better known as CALEA.

In a sit down with Hamilton County sheriff Jim Hammond, he tells News 12 his first reaction to the video of five deputies arresting Reginald Arrington Jr.

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“It’s horrible… I agree” said Sheriff Hammond.

Despite personal opinions, Sheriff Hammond believes the video should be judged by the court of law and not the court of public opinion.

“I’m also trained enough to know that you can’t go with first impressions. That’s why you have investigations.”

News 12 asked Sheriff Hammond if he considers improving or changing his training practices with officers.

“First of all I’m always open to the best practices which is set by national standards. Not by me, not by the state of Tennessee but by CALEA. CALEA is approved by all agencies as being the premier standard by which you train police.”

News 12 spoke to defense attorney Robin Flores who represents a former of Daniel Wilkey, a former deputy. Flores has a different perspective on CALEA accreditations.

“The inspections are only as good as the inspectors and they’re only as good as what the inspectors look at at the time of the inspection” said Flores.

Flores says missing information from CALEA assessments could negatively impact the sheriff office in court cases going forward, “We have taken notice on Mr. Hammond’s comments over the years on how they embrace CALEA. That’s going to be an area for further exploration as far as the sheriff is concerned.”

Sheriff Hammond addressed his agency’s cooperation with District attorney Neal Pinkston’s request for videos involving Daniel Wilkey during a time when their information software was corrupted, “We supplied him with all the videos he requested. Later on he said ‘I also want videos on officers responding.’ He made that request after the corruption. That video no longer exists.