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The Somerset Police Department is charged with balancing the multiple
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THREE SOMERSET POLICE OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM ACADEMY
Major Doug Nelson announced the graduation of three Somerset Police Officers from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training’s (DOCJT) Basic Academy on Friday, May 3, 2013. Officers Katrina Masters, Josh Wilson, and Jordan Miller were hired by the department last fall and entered the academy on December 10, 2012.
The 18-week academy is conducted by the DOCJT for law enforcement officers from state and local agencies within the Commonwealth. These new SPD officers received instruction on a variety of police issues including patrol tactics, self defense, driving techniques, first aid, and criminal law. The officers were able to return home on the weekends, but are housed in dormitories during the week located on the DOCJT campus.
In 2003, the Department of Criminal Justice Training became the first public safety training academy in the United States and Canada to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Officers Miller and Wilson each received the Fit For Duty Award. Officer Wilson was additionally selected as a Squad Leader. Officer Masters was selected as the Special Projects Manager for the entire class and coordinated the donation of household items and a day of volunteering at an assisted living facility in Richmond. The officers will now begin the Field Training Officer program where they will be teamed up with veteran SPD officers who have received specialized training in teaching new officers the practical application of the skills and knowledge gained in the academy. The field training portion will last about 14 weeks before the officers are released on solo patrol.
“The entire staff of the Somerset Police Department congratulates these three officers on the successful completion of the DOCJT academy,” said Major Doug Nelson. “They’ve come a long ways and still have a rigorous training program ahead of them. We look forward to them helping in continuing our service to the community.”
PHOTO: (L-R) Officer Jordan Miller, Officer Katrina Masters, and Officer Josh Wilson are pictured in front of the DOCJT’s Law Enforcement Training Complex after Friday’s graduation ceremony.
The second annual “Cops vs. Jocks” fundraiser basketball game was held last night at Somerset High School between the Somerset Police Department and athletes from Somerset High School.
The Jocks handed the Cops their second lost in three years of fundraiser's with a 65-52 score. The money raised from ticket sales is being presented to the family of SPD Officer Brooks Barleston, who passed away last month from a lengthy illness. The officers involved had a great time and thank the student athletes for their participation in a good cause.
PHOTO: The players from both the Cops and the Jocks teams pose for a post-game picture with Officer Barleston’s mother, Wanda.
The Somerset Police Department and Operation UNITE have partnered to offer another location where unwanted or unused prescription medication can be disposed.
A medication drop box provides a safe place to dispose of any medication – from over-the-counter pills to strong pain medicine.
By dropping you unwanted or expired medications off at a secure drop box facility, you reduce your contribution to the drug problem. It reduces the supply that a friend of family member might get their hands on to experiment with drugs, and reduces what a thief can take if you become the victim of theft or burglary.
The new drop box is located in the Somerset Police Department lobby at 400 E. Mt. Vernon Street inside City Hall. The lobby door is open 24-hours.
The men and women of the Somerset Police Department would like to pass on our sympathy and prayers to the family of SPD Officer Brooks Barleston who passed away this afternoon after a lengthy illness.
Officer Barleston served in the Patrol Division since 2007, and received multiple awards for his dedication to law enforcement. Brooks was a friend to all. We cannot put into words how much Brooks will be missed by our family.
The funeral arrangements are pending at this time.
Somerset Police Celebrate 125 Years of Service to Our Community
Our history dates back to March 13, 1888, when Mayor A. Wolf appointed John B. Ingram as the first chief of police for the newly formed City of Somerset.
Over the next 125... years, the police department has grown, but not without sacrifice of two chiefs of police and one patrolman along the way. As the department gets a year older, it is important to remember those officers who lost their lives serving the citizens of our city.
Chief of Police Silas West was shot and killed in 1928 while attempting to arrest a drunk on the square. Patrolman McKinley Massingale was shot and killed on Halloween night in 1929 while investigating a bootlegger on South Maple Street. In 1957, Police Chief Harold Catron was shot on his porch on Jasper Street and died from those wounds in 1964.
“Our 125th anniversary is a milestone to our department,” said Major Doug Nelson. “Through hard work, rigorous training, and an established level of professionalism, the men and women of the Somerset Police Department will continue to serve our community to make it a safe place to live and work.”
PHOTO: Major Doug Nelson stands with the department supervisors in the department holding the 125th anniversary logo. The logo will be placed on the patrol vehicles for the next year. From left to right in the front row: Lt. William Hunt, Lt. Shannon Smith, Sgt. Jason Griffith, Major Nelson, Sgt. Greg Martin, and Sgt. Mike Correll. Back row: Sgt. Roger Estep, Sgt. Brad Stevens, Acting Supervisor Josh Wesley, and Lt. Randy Goff.
What has four wheels, weighs 10,000 pounds, causes double takes and heads to turn?
It’s probably the two military surplus High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as Humvees, acquired by the Somerset Police Department over the winter that were converted into police use.
The Burnside Police Department originally secured the two Humvees from the military before transferring them to the Somerset Police Department in December 2012. Since then, they’ve gone through...rough a new paint job and had police radios and emergency lights installed. The final touch was a graphics package to make it recognizable as a police vehicle. All the equipment was paid for with seized drug funds.
The Humvees were used in a training unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio before they were categorized as surplus. The Department of Defense has had a program in place for many years that transfers military surplus equipment to local law enforcement agencies for specific police use. “For decades, police departments have been using military surplus programs to acquire aircraft, ballistic vests, helmets, and other equipment including Humvees,” said SPD Major Doug Nelson. “The state police have a Humvee parked at every KSP post. They are popular because of the Humvee’s ability to make it through deep snow, high water, and the aftermath of natural disasters.”
These Humvees are what’s considered an “unarmored” version which means they’re fitted with armor plating to protect soldiers against small arms fire and roadside bombs. “We will take full advantage of the armor plating on these Humvees and incorporate them into our active shooter response plan,” said Major Nelson. “Having a vehicle with additional armor can make crucial difference when planning a rescue or needing to penetrate closer to an active shooting.”
Military surplus doesn’t mean it’s the military’s rejected equipment. One of these Humvees has only 1,500 miles and the other has 3,400. Both are in mechanically sound condition and free of damage and corrosion.
The police department would like to thank the members of the Kentucky National Guard’s 1-149th Infantry Battalion in Somerset for conducting orientation training for our officers on the Humvee’s operation and use.
Besides the active shooter response, the police department plans to use the vehicles in inclement weather, tactical situations, and special events.
The Somerset Police Department welcomes Matthew Bowling as its newest police officer. Officer Bowling is 27-years-old and was born in Somerset. He is a 2004 graduate of Pulaski Central School and is married. He and his wife are expecting their first child. Starting this month, Officer Bowling will attend the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training Basic Academy. He will be the first Somerset Police Officer to attend a longer academy. The previous academy was 18 weeks, but has been lengthened to 21 weeks. With two week-long breaks for holidays, he will graduate August 9, 2013. Officer Bowling was administered the Oath of Office by Pulaski District Judge Kathryn G. Wood during a ceremony on February 20 in the Somerset City Council chambers.
Somerset Police are investigating the death of a Pulaski County woman today, after she was found dead in the Walmart parking lot. Patrol units were dispatched at 2:50 PM this afternoon to assist EMS on a radio call where someone discovered a woman unresponsive in a car in the parking lot. When emergency personnel arrived, they found Carolann M. Haley, age 42, of Bronston dead in a 1995 Chevrolet Camero. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Pulaski County Coroner’s Office. There were no signs of trauma and the cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy will be performed by the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office.
The investigation has revealed Haley may have been at Walmart since yesterday.
Somerset police units were assisted at the scene by the Somerset-Pulaski County EMS, the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office, and the Somerset Fire Department. The police department would like to thank Walmart employees and management for the additional assistance they provided officers in the investigation.
The Somerset Police Department sends its congratulations to Perla Torres on her recent graduation from Eastern Kentucky University. Torres is the Limited English Liaison for the Somerset Police Department where she has worked since 2008. ...She is a 2003 graduate of Pulaski County High School, and was born in Saltillo, Coahuila in Mexico. Torres received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Criminal Justice and Police Studies.
NEW SOMERSET POLICE PROGRAM TARGETS SCHOOL VIOLENCE PREVENTION
The Somerset Police Department is launching a new text messaging program that seeks critical information that may help prevent schools violence.
The program allows a direct line to Somerset Police by way of text messaging and web tips. Students are encouraged to submit tips about school violence, bullying, drugs, or other concerns that may affect school safety. Their texts and web tips will be confidential and anonymous.
The program, named "See - Hear - Report" goes into effect on Monday, January 21st and utilizes a Utah company that provides law enforcement with text and web tip solutions. The tips go through different computer servers that strip away personal information and give the sender a unique identifying code as an alias name. That alias and the tip is the only information the police officers receive. Officers can reply to the message, but they will have no idea to whom they are conversing. Likewise, the alias would be the only name officers would know should a reward be offered for certain information. "Students today are growing up in a digital age. Therefore, it's important for the law enforcement community and our police department to offer different ways to interact with our youth," commented SPD Major Doug Nelson. Students who don't have a cell phone can navigate to the police department's Facebook page or web site to submit a tip. Those tips utilize a form that's managed by the same company. Just like the text tips, all personal information is removed and the officers only see the tip and the sender's unique code.
The program is the brainchild of Major Nelson, who learned of a similar program in Colorado that targets bullying during an International Association of Chiefs of Police conference. “Students may be apprehensive about divulging sensitive information to an officer face-to-face. Text messaging is a common communication method for them these days and we want to make it easy for them to pass information to us that could save lives,” said Nelson. The Somerset Police Department has been conducting training on active shooter situations for years, but realized its time to address ways of gathering information about potential problems before they escalate to an act of violence.
To text a tip to officers, students should follow three simple steps: 1. Compose a new message to "CRIMES" (274637 on most phones) 2. Include "SOMERSETPD" in the message, along with the tip information 3. Press SEND The program will cost the police department about $2000 each year. See-Hear-Report will continue to be supplemented by the department’s 24-Hour Crime Tip Line at (606) 676-TIPS. Users should call 911 for emergencies or dispatch services.
Somerset Police Prepare for Active Shooter Situations About two weeks prior to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the Somerset Police Department began plans for active shooter refresher training inside Somerset High School while students were away on Christmas break. Those plans hit hard when news of the shooting spread throughout the police department. The Somerset Police Department conducts refresher training in a number of areas like Taser deployment, self defense, baton training, and firearms proficiency. This is in addition to the mandated training officers receive each year from the Department of Criminal Justice Training. “We strive to maintain a high level of in-house training so we can be prepared for all types of situations,” said Major Doug Nelson. “Even though our plans were already being formed when the Sandy Hook shooting took place, we were able to incorporate things we’ve learned from that shooting into our training to raise our level of preparedness.”
PHOTO: (L-R) Officers Matthew Gates, Randall Smith, Billy Bolin, Acting Supervisor Josh Wesley are given instructions by SPD’s Active Shooter Instructor Lt. William Hunt in the halls of Somerset High School.
2012 Officer of the Year is Announced Each year, the supervisors from the police department make nominations for officer of the year based on criteria like character, quality of work, professionalism, pride, minimal absenteeism, and the of...ficer’s willingness to help others. The nominees are then voted on by
their peers. Officer Justin Creech was selected as the Somerset Police Department Officer of the Year for
2012. Officer Creech was hired in 2009 and graduated from DOCJT Basic Academy Class 408. He is a 2004 graduate of Somerset High School, and has previously received an award for physical fitness during the academy, a 2011 SPD Lifesaving Award, and the 2012 Governor’s Award for Impaired Driving Enforcement.
PHOTO: Officer Creech receives his award during the SPD Christmas Dinner. Pictured left to right: Major Doug Nelson, Creech, and Patrol Division Supervisor Lt. Shannon Smith.
Several Somerset police officers are on their way to assist in the cleanup efforts in Laurel County. Four officers left at daybreak this morning to help out in East Bernstadt after a tornado touched down Friday evening. Sgt. Greg Martin said the group wanted to do something for their neighbors during their time of need. The cell that produced the Laurel County tornado passed through Somerset minutes before without causing significant damage. From left to right: Officer William Cowan, Sgt. Greg Martin,Officer Eric Klepper, and Officer Scott Whitaker.