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Jailer resigns amid inquiry
Investigation revealed phone calls with inmate
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A Dawson County Detention Center employee resigned earlier this month during an investigation that exposed an inappropriate relationship with a female inmate.

Sheriff Billy Carlisle said Kevin Helmer, 39, violated departmental policy when he gave the incarcerated woman his cell phone number.

Carlisle said the internal affairs investigation revealed the inmate had called Helmer from the jail while he was on duty in his official capacity.

"From what we can tell, she called him and talked to him twice, once while he was working in the tower and once when he was off duty," Carlisle said.

According to Carlisle, Helmer violated the agency's policy that states employees "shall not become socially or emotionally involved with prisoners."

He went on to note that Helmer also violated his oath of office and code of ethics by engaging in the relationship with the 26-year-old inmate, who was being held on drug court violations.

Detention center officers were tipped off to the calls by a second inmate.

"When the jailers were made aware of it, they pulled the records from the inmate phones," Carlisle said. "All of our inmate phones are recorded."

The inmate's conversations with Helmer centered on seeking treatment at a rehabilitation facility, according to Carlisle.

"As far as we could determine, it was just phone calls. Initially, he denied it, but then we told him we would show him the phone records and he said he resigns," Carlisle said.

Helmer, who had been employed as a jailer since January 2013, quit on Sept. 13. He was a week away from obtaining his Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training certification.

"He was going to police academy in Cherokee [County] and had one week left," Carlisle said. "He would have graduated last Friday and then we would have sent him out on the roads or to another department."