Houston & Peach

Houston deputies suspended for illegal deer hunting

Two Houston County deputies have been punished for hunting deer at night.

Sgt. Kevin Harper and his nephew, Cpl. Brandon Harper, have faced disciplinary action following a Georgia Department of Resources investigation into the hunting incident in late November, said Chief Deputy Billy Rape.

Kevin Harper, a juvenile officer and 22-year veteran, was suspended for five days without pay and given six months disciplinary probation. Brandon Harper, an 11-year veteran who transports jail inmates, was given three days without pay and six months probation. The incident occurred at the Guardian Centers in Perry while the two were working a private security detail there.

Rape said Kevin Harper was given a longer suspension because he was the one who shot the deer while Brandon Harper assisted afterward.

While under probation, the two can use a county vehicle only while on duty. Ordinarily deputies can drive their county vehicle back and forth to home or to private security details. The two also now cannot work any private security details during the probation period. They are permanently banned from working private security at the Guardian Centers, a business that features a mock city for emergency response training.

Rape said he wasn’t sure what specific charges DNR may have filed, but he said the charges would be misdemeanors.

Rape said in private security details, deputies work in uniform and use county vehicles but the business pays their salary. He said the two deputies previously had a good record.

“They have been been good officers,” he said. “We have not had any trouble with them.”

Wayne Crenshaw has worked as a journalist since 1990 and has been a reporter for The Telegraph since 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Georgia College and is a resident of Warner Robins.