Spencer County and Taylorsville officials hold joint meeting over 24/7 policing issues
Full police coverage from the Spencer County Sheriff's Office ended last year after budget cuts. Since then, Taylorsville city police officers have been making runs around the county, often times leaving its own city unprotected.
TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Political drama between a sheriff and a judge executive in Spencer County could be putting citizens in harm’s way, and it all has to do with 24/7 police coverage.
But the city stuck in the middle of the fight said it just can't take it anymore. Taylorsville City Police officers have stepped up to make the extra runs, but they don’t know how much longer that can last because next month they will only have four full-time officers on staff.
On Wednesday night, Taylorsville City officials invited Spencer County officials to a joint meeting to discuss 24/7 policing. That full police coverage from the Spencer County sheriff's office ended last year after budget cuts. Since then, Taylorsville city police officers have been making runs around the county, often times leaving its own city unprotected.
“It is not fair to the city of Taylorsville residents to not be covered,” said Taylorsville Commissioner Ellen Redmon.
City officials also see it as a danger to the officers.
“Without anybody there to back them up ... I don't want to see any of them get killed," Taylorsville Commissioner Kathy Spears said. "That's my issue. It's a safety issue."
The reason for the issue is self-proclaimed political drama between the sheriff and judge executive.
“He's been upset that he can't actually put hands on every move that's going on with the sheriff's office ... that he feels like he needs to micro manage the sheriff's office,” Sheriff Buddy Stump said..
“There's no cooperation between this sheriff and other law enforcement agencies," Judge Executive John Riley said. "And that's a problem."
Stump said he only has $45,000 in the budget to cover 24/7 policing. However, he said that number needs to be $100,000 to make that a reality once again.
“Put $100,000 back in the budget, and we'll immediately go back, we'll get some people hired, and we'll go back to 24/7 and get the people what they want,” Stump said.
On the other side of the issue is Riley, who said he's trying to be fiscally responsible.
“My contention is that it's not a budget issue, it's a scheduling and decision-making issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the people stuck in the middle like the Taylorsville Police chief said his small department cannot continue to do what it's been doing and the issues need to be resolved quickly.
“Something is broken, and it has to be fixed plain and simple,” Chief Kenny Stewart said.
While city and county officials did not come to any type of resolution Wednesday night, city officials said at least it got the conversation started.
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