Bardstown to receive federal funding to curb drug problem - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bardstown to receive federal funding to curb drug problem

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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Friday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and other state leaders will visit Bardstown, Ky., to aid in the fight against drugs in Nelson County -- and federal funding is close behind.

Among the charm and history, is a county struggling with a debilitating problem: drugs.

"We have two drug dogs," said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin. "And I could use a third one. I could put one on every shift, and keep those dogs as busy as any police officer out here."

As the largest city in Nelson County, Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin knows the problem well. He says per capita, the area is worse off than Metro Louisville when it comes to drugs.

The problem is so bad, McCubbin says that every arrest they make -- whether it's theft, assault, robbery, you name it -- is drug-related. The only exception, he says, is domestic calls, and even then, he says drugs are often involved.

"This isn't some numbers we've crunched, this isn't our own suspicion," he said. "This is the suspects, when we bring them in to talk to them, tell us, 'we need to feed our drug habit.'"

Murder could even be added to the list, as many -- including the Chief of Police -- believe the ambush killing of Bardstown K-9 Officer Jason Ellis had to do with his many drug arrests.

"I guess it brought that see-what-we're-talking-about moment," he said. "When a police officer is ambushed and killed, this is how bad it's getting."

And leaders on the federal level started noticing, as Nelson County will now be added to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program. Through the program, law enforcement agencies in Nelson County will receive funding, training, and easier access to federal prosecution.

It's access that McCubbin hopes will help clean up Bardstown's streets.

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