Shepherdsville Police Department promises more arrests with creation of new drug unit
The Shepherdsville Police chief announced the department will hire more officers and K-9s to create a dedicated drug enforcement unit.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Shepherdsville Police chief announced the department will hire more officers and K-9s to create a dedicated drug enforcement unit.
Chief Rick McCubbin made the announcement Wednesday on Facebook Live, saying the unit is in response to what the community told him they want to see police officers focus on.
“They wanted us to be a bit more aggressive when it comes to drugs,” McCubbin said in the video.
After brainstorming with his team, McCubbin decided the best way to toughen up the department’s approach would be to create a dedicated drug team. He said these officers will have zero tolerance.
“No citations,” he said. “If a crime fits an arrest, you will go to jail.”
In the video, McCubbin acknowledged not everyone will like the idea.
“Some of you are going to get your feelings hurt,” McCubbin said. “Some of you may be actually ass-chapped over what’s coming. But that’s not my problem. That’s yours.”
The Shepherdsville City Council and mayor supported the idea and approved funding to create the new unit and fill vacant positions.
The drug team will be made up of a solo officer, a K-9 officer and a supervisor. Police leaders are in the final stages of selecting the three current officers who will transition to the new unit, then two new officers will be hired to fill empty positions.
Maj. Mike O’Donnell said this team will work and look different than the typical patrol units. The three officers will not be tied to responding to radio calls for service. Instead, they will be a flexible team responding to police intelligence and public tips.
"It'll require some different equipment,” O’Donnell said. “These officers will not be undercover by any means. We want the community to know they're out there and doing their jobs. They'll be in unmarked cars though to give them maybe the element of surprise."
In the Facebook video, McCubbin emphasized this is a move back to what he knows works best.
“Twenty-first century policing? Hasn’t worked,” McCubbin said. “Don’t believe me? Turn on the evening news and see what a dismal failure that is.
“These officers will understand that proactive, old-fashioned policing is what works.”
O’Donnell said determining success of this unit will take some time. But he does expect to see an initial spike in arrests. He said after time, he would hope to see arrests go down as the unit makes an impact.
Two police K-9s are also a part of the plan. One will be dedicate to the new unit, and the other will go to the standard patrol unit. The two K-9s will cost about $40,000 to purchase and train.
The new drug officer is expected to receive his K-9 partner in July. McCubbin hopes the entire unit will be up and running by the end of the summer.
O’Donnell emphasized this unit would not be possible without the support of the city council and mayor and the continued cooperation with the public.
“It's time for the community to come together with law enforcement and take back their streets,” O’Donnell said.
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