Kentucky State Police

J. Tyler Franklin

More than a year after a deadline has passed to process all rape kits within 90 days, the Kentucky State Police forensic laboratory is averaging a wait of 215 days.

That number has diminished only slightly since the end of 2018, when rape kits were taking an average of 220 days to process. Advocates and researchers say it is unlikely the lab will meet next summer’s legislature-imposed benchmark requiring all rape kits to be processed within 60 days. 

A KSP spokesperson declined to make the director of the lab available for an interview. But in an emailed statement, news stories and public reports, agency officials have blamed the delays on a number of factors. 

Lisa Autry

State police posts across Kentucky are expanding their services to include a victim’s advocate who will provide support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.

A program called Victim Advocate Support Services (VASS) was announced on Thursday at the KSP post in Elizabethtown. 

The program will connect crime victims with resources like counseling and legal support, and keep them up to date as their case moves through the court system.

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State officials have announced a new initiative that will allow recruits going through law enforcement basic training to earn an associate’s degree.

The free program, called Educating Heroes, is being launched by Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT). Police officers who graduate DOCJT’s basic training would earn 45 credit hours at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Recruits would also have an opportunity to take 15 credit hours of online courses to complete the 60 total hours to earn an Applied Science associate’s degree. The program also applies to officers who already finished basic training. Nearly 300 recruits go through DOCJT’s basic training academy every year, per a news release. 

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The Kentucky State Police agency says it’s not taking a position for, or against, a new law that allows citizens to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.  KSP is, however, issuing some advice. 

KSP is encouraging Kentuckians to do some homework before traveling to other states.  The new law may not apply elsewhere, and if stopped by police in other states, Kentuckians could be subject to arrest.  Sergeant Josh Lawson says most, if not all, of Kentucky’s surrounding states still require a permit for concealed carry.

A Kentucky State Police trooper is back on patrol in the Owensboro region after striking a handcuffed man with his foot. 

The June 24 incident was caught on surveillance cameras at the Daviess County Detention Center. 

The video shows the arrestee, Nazarine Ingram, kicking a door, cursing at the trooper, and refusing to sit down.  His public defender told the Messenger-Inquirer that Ingram was upset because the trooper wouldn’t loosen his handcuffs. 

Ryland Barton

Attorney General Andy Beshear says Kentucky State Police illegally restricted a poverty group’s access to the state Capitol building during a series of protests last month.

State troopers only allowed two members of the Poor People’s Campaign to enter the Capitol at a time after a series of recent protests, including a demonstration where 17 people spent the night in the building after business hours.

But a legal opinion published by the attorney general’s office said that Kentucky State Police and the Finance and Administration Cabinet didn’t create the policy using the proper procedure.

Kentucky Law Enforcement Magazine

Kentucky’s new Commissioner for the Department of Criminal Justice Training says he’s focused on preparing new and future law enforcement officers to safely deal with the opioid crisis. Payne said officers have to be careful when handling drugs such as fentanyl because they can become ill if their skin comes in contact with the substance.

“Nowadays that mistake can kill you because of things like fentanyl. So there’s all kinds of dangers, new dangers, because of drugs that we have to prepare these young people for and that’s sad,” he said.

Horse Cave Police Department

No disciplinary action has occurred at the Horse Cave Police Department, a day after the FBI confirmed that the department is the focus of an ongoing federal investigation. 

Hart County Sheriff Boston Hensley told WKU Public Radio that his department and Kentucky State Police have agreed to provide police coverage in Horse Cave on an as needed basis.  However, Trooper Jeremy Hodges, public information officer for KSP, says no Horse Cave police officers are on leave at this time.  Horse Cave City Attorney Pat Ross also said there’s been "no job action." 

Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police says trooper applications have increased since changes were made to its recruitment policy.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer quotes police spokesman Trooper Corey King in a Monday report as saying the number of people applying for trooper positions has risen since the policy was changed to help address a trooper shortage.

The Daily News of Bowling Green reported last month that the agency has over 800 sworn officers, 500 of whom are road troopers. Police recruitment branch commander Lt. Brad Arterburn said the agency is considered fully staffed with 1,070 sworn officers.

The Kentucky State Police agency is holding town hall meetings across the state in an effort to boost recruitment numbers that have declined in recent years. 

The meetings will highlight some new requirements aimed at attracting a larger pool of applicants.  Aspiring troopers were once required to have 60 hours of college credit and two years of active duty service as a soldier or police officer. 

"There's a lot of young men who come out of school and go to work on the family farm or straight into the workforce," said Trooper BJ Eaton.  "Out east or west, we have a lot of young men who follow in family footsteps and go to work in the coal mines, so they wouldn't have those minimum requirements that we've always required."

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Kentucky State Police officers are teaming up with the federal government to collect unused and outdated prescription medications.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and drop-off locations will be set up at locations across the commonwealth.

State Police spokesman Josh Brashears says it’s opportunity to get rid of medications that could be accidentally ingested by children, stolen, or misused.

“Any kind of solid dosage units—pills or liquid cough syrup, anything like that, we can accept and safely dispose of that.”

Ryland Barton

Citing “increasing public interest and media attention,” Kentucky State Police on Wednesday announced the creation of a dedicated unit to investigate police shootings across the state.

The five-person Critical Incident Response Team will automatically investigate if a KSP officer is involved in a shooting and will lend its services to local jurisdictions by request.

Alex Payne, deputy commissioner for Kentucky State Police, said creating the unit was the “right thing to do” in response to societal pressures.

It's been almost a year since the badly decomposed remains of a woman were found in Hart County. The body was beyond recognition, but now Kentucky State Police are teaming up with the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System to put a face, and hopefully a name, to the woman.

Last June 25, a truck driver jogging near Waterloo Road in Hart County noticed what appeared to be a dead body. Troopers called to the scene confirmed they were human remains but an identification was impossible.

All they had to go on was it was a female between 24 and 47 years old, wearing a necklace with the letter "S" emblem on it, a gray stud earring with a pink stone, a medium sized "Southern Comfort" t-shirt, red underwear and white Wilson sneakers with green laces. She was entered into NamUs just four days later as UP 13979.

The Hart County Coroner and Kentucky State Police reached out to Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) and Certified Forensic Artist Jeanne Cybulski of the Mesa, AZ police department took up the case.

Logan County Deputy Causes Head-On Crash

Dec 9, 2014

Deputy Brandon Harvey and 72 year old Darrell Boatwright of Dunmor are both hospitalized after Harvey crashed his cruiser head-on into Boatwright's car in Logan County on Monday.

State police say Deputy Harvey was traveling north on US 431 near the intersection of Peach Blossom Road. Just after the intersection, a FedEx van was stopped in the road attempting to turn into a residence. The van was stopped due to oncoming traffic.

Kentucky State Police officials say the state is at its lowest highway fatality rate in nearly 50 years. Now a KSP campaign is aimed at reducing highway fatalities even more.

The "Finish Strong" campaign urges motorists to wear seat belts, reduce speed, refrain from distractions and never drive impaired.

The project began November 1 with a data-driven strategy that places enforcement details in high crash zones where fatalities have occurred. State police say the effort will continue through the holidays.

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