New Shepherdsville mayor reorganizes police department with demo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Shepherdsville mayor reorganizes police department with demotions

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Lt. Colonel Daniel Patchin Lt. Colonel Daniel Patchin
Maj. Todd Johnson Maj. Todd Johnson
Maj. Michael O'Donnell Maj. Michael O'Donnell

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After less than three weeks in office,the new Shepherdsville mayor is making some major changes. 

Mayor Curtis Hockenbury says he's looking at every city department and all city jobs. He demoted five people within the Shepherdsville Police Department.

"We didn't have enough boots on the ground," Mayor Hockenbury said.

The Shepherdsville Police Department's assistant chief and two majors have been demoted to sergeant, and two sergeants were demoted to officers. There are 29 officers on the force. 

Hockenbury says the pay cuts from the five demotions will save taxpayers about $53,000.

"I'm sorry for the past mistakes of the other administrations that was here before me," he said. "I'm very sorry for that ... We have to make the corrections with the taxpayers money, so we have to spend it wisely."

Chief Douglas Puckett says the reorganization will help response times. 

"I think the morale is OK," he said. "People don't like change, especially police officers."

Mayor Hockenbury, who has about 30 years of law enforcement experience, says he saw there was a boss for every two to three people in the police department, and he quickly changed that.

"That's called the span of control," he said. "The span of control in my sense was out of control. Now with this re-organization, I believe it's like six people on the street to provide services to the community."

"During the mid-watch between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., we've got six officers assigned to street duty. During the other times, we have five officers."

Puckett says Lt. Col Dan Patchin, the assistant chief, was demoted to sergeant. Maj. Todd Johnson was demoted to sergeant. Maj. Michael O'Donnell was demoted to sergeant. Sgt. Darren Patchin and Sgt. Bill Bleemel were both demoted to officers.

Another big change: no more police dash cams. Instead, Mayor Hockenbury says the department will only use body cameras as another cost saving measure.

The police department reorganization officially starts on Sunday.

The Mayor also got rid of long-time City Attorney Joseph Wantland and hired Walt Sholar.
 

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