The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office has announced it will be hosting a monthly series of Town Hall Meetings around the county, beginning in June, to address any specific problems citizens and local communities may be having which the GCSO should be addressing.
Grayson County Sheriff, Norman Chaffins, said the proposed meetings are the result of a combination of factors. Chaffins cited the troubling drug problem in the county as well as an increasing burglary problem. He said many times the burglaries are committed so the perpetrators can buy drugs.
His office has been hosting Neighborhood Watch meetings, but he said many times those meetings have been held in Leitchfield and people from outside the city could be having trouble attending.
So the sheriff had the idea of taking the meetings out to the various communities in the county.
“We thought why not move our meetings around and listen to what issues the people in those communities are having so we could focus our patrols there for an entire month,” Chaffins said.
The first such meeting will be held Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the old Caneyville High School beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings in other months figure to be held in Leitchfield, Clarkson, Big Clifty, Anneta and other communities in the county.
It will be a juggling act for the sheriff and his staff as they will still need to provide coverage for the rest of the county with the manpower he has. He said he is unsure how it will work, but said, “We don’t know, but we’re going to try it.”
Chaffins said his office gets requests for extra patrols every day, and he said he honors those requests as best as the office is able. It is hoped that with the new meetings, his office will become better aware of trouble spots in the various communities, making lists of those “hot spots” and having his patrols visit those spots as often as possible.
“The deputies will then learn of those areas needing extra attention and can swing by them when not on calls, or after serving papers,” Chaffins said.
Chaffins said the ultimate goal is to have his men become more visible in the various communities.
He said there will eventually be a yearly schedule of meetings, and plans to leave some months open in case there are smaller communities in the county that might be experiencing problems and wish to have a meeting in their area.
He said his office does the best it can with the manpower available and said he hoped these meetings could become a venue for better cooperation county-wide. Chaffins said he did not want the meetings to deteriorate into a complaint session for people with an axe to grind about his department.
“I don’t think it will,” he said. ” Most of the people who call here have legitimate issues.”
He also said he hoped the meetings could be used to educate the citizenry about what exactly his office can and cannot do.
“For example, we get a lot of calls about couples (married or otherwise) who have split up and one of the parties wants to go into the other’s residence to retrieve possessions,” Chaffins said. “We can’t do that without a court order because we have no idea whose stuff is whose.”
Chaffins said he hopes these meetings will catch on with people around the county.
“We hope to see a strong showing from these communities. I feel if people care enough about their community to show up for these meetings, then I care enough about their community to do everything I can to help them with problems they are having.”
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.