Spencer County sheriff says military vehicles are necessary desp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Spencer County sheriff says military vehicles are necessary despite cost concerns from county judge

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TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An ongoing feud between a sheriff and a county judge is affecting policing in Spencer County, and the latest spat has to do with the sheriff's hummers.

The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office was granted eight military vehicles, but other county officials are concerned over insurance costs.

Built to handle tough terrain, Sheriff Buddy Stump said the hummers and trucks can often go where regular vehicles cannot.

“When you can get a vehicle with 4,500 miles to use for free, that's a pretty good deal,” he said.

Through a Department of Defense program, the Spencer County Sheriff's Office received six hummers and two trucks at no cost. The only thing that needs to be paid is maintenance and insurance on them.

Over the years, Stump said the vehicles have been used for marijuana eradication, large snow events, farming accidents and other emergencies.

“We brought 10 people out to the ambulance that couldn't get there otherwise, and they took them on to the hospital,” Stump said.

However, County Judge John Riley said the vehicles are overkill and seldom used.

Insurance on one vehicle is $750 a year. For eight vehicles, that comes to $6,000 a year, an expense that Riley said is unnecessary and needs to be eradicated.

“My question is what is the price of a human life worth?” Stump asked. “I think sometimes the fiscal court and sometimes the judge loses sight of what our job really is. Our job is to be prepared as best we can when an emergency or a disaster happens.”

Stump said his office will keep using the vehicles until he decides not to, but this hasn't been the only issue between Stump and Riley. 

Last year, the two butted heads on a mold issue at the sheriff's office. Before that, the sheriff's office stopped 24/7 patrols in the county due to budget cuts.

The policing issue even lead to a special called meeting last month between Spencer County and Taylorsville officials to address the problem. 

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