LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Yet another officer is leaving following the restructuring of the Bardstown Police Department and the retirement of Chief Rick McCubbin.
Officer Dave Culler is announcing this week he's one of a handful going into early retirement.
WDRB asked Bardstown Mayor, John Royalty, "A few officers are retiring at the same time. Do you think it's a coincidence that it's the same time as the Police Chief?”
"Absolutely, I honestly do,” Royalty said.
The mayor says many of the officers retiring have had this planned for a long time. He denies turmoil within the department.
"I know that people think that there is, but this is nothing new. [Some] of those officers are on their second retirement. Not their first, but their second retirement," Royalty said.
Chief Rick McCubbin said in a statement that there's one common denominator.
"The demotions and restructuring was the determining factor with the previous Captain and Lieutenant to retire and resign… for Culler, he had also expressed some interest in retiring in the near future however… the demotions and restructuring were [also] his determining factor," McCubbin said.
McCubbin's retirement comes after Royalty rearranged who's in top positions at the police department.
This department is authorized to employ 27 officers. When those who are planning to retire leave, there will be 21 in the department.
WDRB asked Royalty, "With several officers retiring at the same time, is this a public safety issue?"
"Absolutely not. All the guys are stepping up and doing their patrols, they're still fighting the crime the same way they always have,” he responded.
Regardless of the number, the mayor, the current chief and interim chief, Captain Mckenzie Mattingly, agree neighbors in the city won't notice a difference in response time when they call for help.
“We had an unexpected retirement last week and Lt. Gillock and I worked the street Friday and Saturday night to make sure this town had adequate coverage,” Mattingly said.
Officer Culler's retirement date is May 31, the same day Chief Rick McCubbin is retiring.
McCubbin's full statement is below:
"I believe that the demotions and restructuring was the determining factor with the previous Captain and Lieutenant to retire and resign. And for Culler, he had also expressed some interest in retiring in the near future, however, like the others he just decided, as he stated, the demotions and restructuring where his determining factor. And though the department will be several officers short, the caliber of officers that we have will be displayed as they will continue to do their job and respond and patrol accordingly. For the most part, I don't even think the public will see a big difference in patrol and response time, though that could be affected depending on the number of officers on the street at a specific time."
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