By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Mossyrock Police Chief Jeremy Stamper is under court order to check his service firearm to his supervisor after each shift where it will be held until his following shift as part of a protection order sought by his wife.
He was also ordered to undergo domestic violence treatment and drug and alcohol treatment, according to court documents.
Stamper, the east Lewis County town’s only police officer, didn’t return calls for comment, but his supervisor says Stamper remains on the job.
“I have full confidence in him, or he wouldn’t be on patrol right now,” Mossyrock Mayor Tom Meade said yesterday.
Meade however said he isn’t aware of the requirement he hold Stamper’s gun.
The court case began when the police chief’s wife, Shannon Stamper, petitioned the court on May 20 for a year-long protection order and requested her husband be required to undergo treatment.
Court documents show that at a June 10 hearing, Lewis County Superior Court Commissioner Tracy Mitchell found “Ms. Stamper credible” and signed a protection order.
Shannon Stamper’s initial request said her husband never hit her, but he had access to weapons. An example of her concern she wrote about was an incident at the end of February in which she said Jeremy Stamper crushed his phone because he could not figure it out.
The order put in place has numerous restrictions, such as prohibiting him from coming within 200 feet of her residence. Five children are listed as protected as well.
A handwritten aside on the document states that work related contacts in the neighborhood are okay.
Meade said the court order comes during a contested divorce and makes no sense to him. He said the court didn’t analyze the situation thoroughly.
“This whole thing has me scratching my head,” Meade said. “I’ve supervised people for 40 years and I can spot an alcoholic and I can spot an abuser, and I just don’t see this.”
Meade said when the issue first arose, everyone thought the best course of action would be for the police chief to go on vacation. “Not administrative leave, just plain vacation,” he said.
Stamper has been back about a week and half, he said.
Meade pointed out his police chief works 40 hours, but is subject to call out at any time. He’s on duty 24 hours a day, Meade said.
The language on the standard protection order form states that if it is a domestic situation, then effective immediately the respondent may not possess a firearm or ammunition. A handwritten notation on the page indicates Stamper can possess his duty firearm while on shift, per “18 USC 8925.”
Stamper’s attorney Don Blair has filed a motion the order be revised contending the evidence did not show the petitioner was a victim of domestic violence.
Shannon Stamper four days after the order was filed made a written request it be terminated, writing the couple has agreed to reconcile and undergo family counseling. She wrote she may have been mistaken in interpreting her husband’s behavior.
Shannon Stamper wrote she has feared her husband in the recent past but never had issues of safety regarding herself or their children.
Her only comment today: “It’s all blown out of proportion.”
A hearing is set for Monday on the matter.