We are proud of our dynamic and professional department.
The Somerset Police Department is charged with balancing the multiple
responsibilities necessary to provide the citizens of Somerset with a safe
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The Somerset Police Department, in cooperation with Pulaski County Coroner Charles Godbey, is releasing the name of the man killed recently in a train collision in Somerset. Joseph Richardson, age 28, formerly of Ohio Street in Somerset, was identified as the man struck and killed by a southbound train on April 30, 2013.
Since the incident, detectives and personnel from the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office have been busy tracking down several leads to try to identify the man’s family. However, despite continuous work, those efforts failed.
Now, these agencies are turning to the public to seek their help in finding family members. Richardson is believed to have been a resident of Somerset for the past few years, but may have originally been from Northern Kentucky. If you know Richardson’s family, please contact the Somerset Police Department at (606) 678-5176 or the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office at (606) 679-1850 during normal business hours. After hours, please call the Pulaski 911 Center for assistance.
The investigation is continuing on what causes or contributing factors lead to Richardson being struck by the train.
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.
BRONSTON MAN CHARGED IN THEFT CASE
At 2:42 PM Saturday afternoon, Somerset police officers responded to a burglar alarm at the law office of local attorney Scott Foster on Ohio Street. When Officer Tim Miller arrived, he found two broken windows on the north side of the building. During the investigation, Officers Justin Creech and Josh Wesley reviewed surveillance video at the law office and identified the suspect as Trevor Mayfield, age 28, of Bronston. They observed Mayfield try to kick open the front door, take mail from the front porch mail box, and throw a flower pot through the north window, which activated the alarm system. Mayfield fled the scene in a maroon Pontiac Grand Am before officers arrived. However, approximately 45 minutes later, SPD Sgt. Roger Estep responded to a complaint at the Dollar General Store on East Mt. Vernon Street where a man was reported to be under the influence and trying to leave the parking lot. When he arrived on the scene, he made contact with Mayfield operating the maroon Grand Am. Mayfield was arrested and charged with DUI 1st offense and for having an open container of alcohol in his car.
Later, Officer Wesley executed a search warrant on Mayfield’s vehicle and recovered six items of mail addressed to Scott Foster. Mayfield was additionally charged with Theft of Mail Matter, a class D felony, and Criminal Mischief Second Degree. He was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center.
The investigation is continuing.
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 IS HIRING ! ! !
Are you looking for a stable and rewarding career in law enforcement? Or, do you know someone with at least a high school education, age 21 or older, with a clean background? Applications can be returned to the police department Monday thru Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
The DEADLINE for submitting an application is Friday, May 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM.
A Somerset man has been arrested on assault charges after a downtown stabbing. 40-year-old Junior A. Brinson, of Somerset, was arrested after a stabbing incident on North Maple Street that happened just after 3:30 PM Monday.
Brinson had been in an argument with Phillip Mounce, age 47, of North Maple Street when Brinson pulled a knife and stabbed Mounce once in the torso. Mounce was treated at the scene by the Somerset-Pulaski County EMS and was transported to the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. He was later flown to the University of Kentucky Hospital for further treatment.
Officer Eric Klepper charged Brinson with Assault First Degree and Tampering with Physical Evidence, both felonies. He was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The incident remains under investigation.
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.
LITTON CHARGED WITH MURDER
Somerset police have charged Justin I. Litton with Murder this evening after Saturday night’s fatal collision that left Levi Stephens dead. The investigation started at 9:58 PM Saturday night when a Pulaski County sheriff’s deputy tried to investigate Litton in a suspicious vehicle on West KY 80. As the deputy turned around, Litton left the parking lot eastbound toward Somerset. A few seconds later, Litton intentionally steered his car into the path of Levi Stephens’ vehicle, which was westbound on KY 80.
The investigation also showed that Justin Litton was the subject of a radio broadcast earlier in the evening requesting officers to look out for his vehicle. A family member reported to Somerset police that Litton was impaired and had made threats of suicide by pulling into the path of another vehicle.
With the cooperation of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, the patrol video from the deputy’s cruiser shows Stephens trying to avoid a collision as he sees Litton’s car eastbound in the westbound lane. Despite Stephens’ attempts, Litton continued to turn toward Stephens’ car until impact. Pulaski District Judge Jeffrey Scott Lawless authorized a warrant of arrest this afternoon charging Litton with one count of Murder.
Officers from the University of Kentucky Police Department took Litton into custody at 5:16 PM as he was being discharged from the UK Hospital. A Somerset PD officer and detective have since taken custody of Litton and are transporting him back to Somerset where he will be lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The case remains under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division.
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.
Three people were arrested by Somerset Monday after the discovery of a methamphetamine lab. Officers responded to Grand Central Apartments in response to a tip that Lewis E. Griffith was in an apartment and was wanted on outstanding warrants. Once inside, officers found Griffith, age 24, and Kelly Ann Brown, age 34, of Somerset, in possession of two meth labs. Griffith and Brown were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine First Offense and Possession of a Controlled Substance First Degree. Griffith was additionally charged with Parole Violation on a warrant issued by the Kentucky Parole Board after he violated the conditions of his parole. Officers also found Walter Blaine Smith, age 26, of Somerset, inside the apartment. He too was wanted by the Parole Board for Parole Violation. All three were lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The Somerset Fire Department assisted the police department with the meth lab clean up. The investigation is continuing.
The Somerset Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who exposed himself inside Walmart.
On February 13, 2013, a white male in his 30’s approached an 11-year-old boy at Walmart in Somerset. The boy was in the toy section while his mother shopped nearby.
The suspect asked the boy if he’d like to purchase diapers from him, and the boy declined. Then, the man exposed himself before the boy left to find help. The 11-year-old told a store employee who helped him find his mother and notify police.
Surveillance footage captured images of the man as he walked throughout the store.
If you know the man pictured in the images, please contact the Somerset Police Department or your local 911 center. Anyone with information may call the Somerset Police 24-Hour Crime Tip Line at 606-676-TIPS, or through our “See-Hear-Report” program by sending confidential and anonymous text to “CRIMES” and including “SOMERSETPD” in the message with the tip.
A Somerset man who has been in the media several times in recent days has been arrested by Somerset Police.
James C. Lopez, Jr., age 42, was arrested this morning on a Casey County District Court warrant that charges him with Burglary Second Degree and Theft by Unlawful Taking.
Lopez was in hiding in an undisclosed residence in a Central Kentucky county since the media began reporting the story. SPD Det. Chris Gates made telephone contact with Lopez yesterday and began negotiating Lopez’ surrender. Lopez has been featured in media reports in the past few days as being a suspect in burglaries in Mercer, Anderson, Casey, and Pulaski Counties.
Lopez and Det. Gates spoke by phone this morning and met at a location in Eubank in northern Pulaski County. Lopez surrendered at about 11:00AM and was taken in custody without incident.
Lopez was interviewed about some investigations in Somerset and by other law enforcement agencies in Central Kentucky, and then was released to the custody of the Casey County Sheriff for transport to the Casey County Jail.
Two Pulaski County women are in jail following the discovery of a meth lab in Somerset. Officers were called to University Square Apartments on North College Street at 12:05 am Sunday morning for a robbery in progress. When officers arriv...ed, they discovered meth-making materials and two suspected one-step labs in an apartment. A robbery had not occurred. Latahsa Smith, age 24, of North College Street, Somerset, and Teresa Phelps, age 40, of Nancy, were arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, 1st Offense. Both were lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center. The investigation is continuing. The Somerset Fire Department assisted in the meth lab cleanup at the scene.
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.
Newest SPD Officer Takes Oath of Office
The newest addition to the Somerset Police Department was introduced and sworn in during Monday night’s regular meeting of the Somerset City Council.
Officer Courtney Brittle took the Oath of Office from Pulaski District Court Judge Jeffrey Scott Lawless. Mayor Eddie Girdler normally administers the oath, but passed the honor to Judge Lawless who was present... for the council meeting as part of Boy Scout Troop 184.
Officer Brittle graduated from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Basic Training Class #430 on Friday, February 10. Her academy class lasted 18 weeks and she now begins the field training program where she will be paired with a veteran officer for the next 14 weeks before being released for solo patrol.
While in the academy, Officer Brittle was the recipient of the Physical Fitness Excellence Award and was Special Projects Officer for her class. She helped the Richmond Firefighters Association collect 93 toys that were given to deserving children at Christmas.
Officer Brittle is a native of Somerset, graduated from Somerset High School, and is married with two children.
“The men and women of the Somerset Police Department welcome Officer Brittle to our family,” commented Major Doug Nelson. “She excelled in the academy and stood out among her fellow recruits with her participation in the community. She will be an asset to the Somerset Police Department and the community she serves.”
Officer Brittle is the first female police officer to serve with the Somerset Police Department in nearly 20 years.
ATTACHMENT: Officer Courtney Brittle, left, is administered the Oath of Office by District Judge Jeffrey Scott Lawless at Monday night’s city council meeting.