A decorated officer with the Lawrenceburg Police Department has been let go, The Anderson News has confirmed.
Lawrenceburg Mayor Sandy Goodlett said Monday afternoon that officer Clay Crouch had been “separated” from the city, but declined to say he was fired.
“The language I used is separated from the city,” Goodlett said. “That may be a technical term for fired.”
Goodlett said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss the reason Crouch was let go.
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“This was something that became necessary after a good deal of negotiation and discussion,” Goodlett said.
Crouch has retained an attorney, who issued only a brief statement.
“Yes, I have been retained by Mr. Crouch, at this time we are not making any official statements,” said Lawrenceburg-based attorney Robert Wiedo. “We are going to review documentation and at that time make more of an official statement.”
Crouch, who in 2015 returned fire and shot a suspect in the face during an incident on Ballard Road, had been on administrative leave since last August.
He was cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing soon after the shooting, and returned for work after three weeks of administrative leave, before being placed back on administrative leave Aug. 31, 2016.
The reason for that leave is not being disclosed.
During that 2015 incident, which included the suspect’s vehicle striking a Lawrenceburg man’s vehicle head on, Crouch reportedly shielded the man from gunfire before shooting back.
“He needs a medal,” said Jimmy Desponett, who credited Crouch for saving his life.
The suspect was later charged with attempted murder of a police officer and is scheduled to go to trial April 24 in Anderson Circuit Court.
It is unclear if Crouch will be called to testify during the trial.
Crouch was one of the city’s most high-profile officers and made numerous drug-related arrests during his time on the force.
In 2016, he received the Governor’s Occupant Protection Award for issuing the most seat belt violations, earning praise from Police Chief Chris Atkins.
“Clay’s a great officer and enforcing the seat belt laws is a great method of protecting people from more serious injuries if they get in a wreck,” Atkins said at the time.
Crouch in 2014 received the Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement award, given for his efforts in enforcing DUI laws, and in 2016, was voted Best Lawrenceburg Police Officer by readers of The Anderson News.