Somerset Police Chief William Hunt voted president of organization; SPD Capt. Josh Wesley added to regional executive board
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (August 15, 2022) — Nearly 150 law enforcement executives from across the state gathered in Somerset Aug. 7-11 for the 50th annual Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police training conference, traditionally hosted in the community where the rising executive board president serves as chief of police.
Somerset Police Chief William Hunt rose to that position during the conference, voted by his peers to lead the statewide organization that provides training, resources and legislative support to its more than 500 members. Hunt and the executive board committee were sworn in Thursday by Somerset Mayor Alan Keck.
The five-day conference at The Center for Rural Development featured leadership training, sessions with law enforcement experts and more than 60 vendors. The founders of Horse Soldier Bourbon, the conference’s presenting sponsor, delivered a Whiskey & War Stories presentation for attendees at downtown Somerset’s new live performance venue, The Virginia, and the group experienced the Lake Cumberland area through several evening activities.
“I was incredibly honored to host my colleagues in my hometown for such a monumental anniversary for our organization and conference,” Hunt said. “I hope they left here inspired and motivated to continue the great work they are doing across the state to protect their communities. I am humbled to be selected to lead this organization in the coming year and look forward to advancing public safety efforts in Somerset and across Kentucky.”
The inspiration began by violin and the presentation of colors Tuesday, as the national anthem, performed by Somerset High School graduate Lucy McArthur, echoed through The Center’s theatre during the conference’s opening ceremony. Keck welcomed the crowd to Somerset, expressing gratitude for their service to their communities and emphasizing the importance of public safety to community building.
“We looked forward to sharing our community with this group of outstanding law enforcement executives, but most importantly, sharing our heart for public service and unwavering support of their profession,” Keck said. “Public safety is our number one priority in Somerset. We work daily to build a strong community but understand that to be strong, it must be safe. That starts with the sacrifice of these men and women. Our communities, our schools and our downtowns are strong because of their choice to make that sacrifice. I pray that this week, they walked away feeling our immense gratitude.”
KACP recognized 35 departments for meeting accreditation standards during the opening ceremony, honored Kentucky League of Cities CEO J.D. Chaney and Director of Public Affairs Bryanna Carroll with Legislative Leadership Awards and announced the next KACP Chief of the Year — Murray Police Department Chief Jeff Liles.
KACP also announced it would give three $1,000 donations to law enforcement agencies that had lost officers in the line of duty during the last year. Prestonsburg Police Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and Calloway County Sheriff’s Department will use these donations to begin memorial funds.
As the conference closed, the KACP executive board voted to add new members to its regional executive board, including one new representative from Somerset. Somerset Police Patrol Capt. Josh Wesley, a 16-year veteran of the department, will represent the southeast region.
During his time with Somerset Police, Wesley has served as a field training officer, sergeant, lieutenant and now captain, also serving as a member of the department’s tactical team, Honor Guard, and FTO program manager. Wesley is a graduate of The Institute for Police Management Basic Supervisory Skills Program, the Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy of Police Supervision, and DOCJT’s Criminal Justice Executive Development Program.
KACP Executive Director Shawn Butler congratulated and thanked Hunt, Keck, the Somerset Police Department, and the City of Somerset for their work to welcome its members for the 50th annual conference.
“It was apparent that Chief Hunt and his staff worked extremely hard to make Somerset shine bright, and shine bright it did, for this event,” Butler said. “The training and networking were phenomenal, and we could not have asked for better hosts. Our members were very impressed by the quality of the event and look forward to returning in the future.”