Grayson to participate in BACKUPPS program

By Matt Lasley -

The Grayson County Fiscal Court on Friday, Sept. 16 voted to participate in a program that will give out-of-county, full-time sworn law enforcement officers the authority to carry out police action in Grayson County.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins presented a proposal for the Bluegrass and Central Kentucky Unified Police Protection System (BACKUPPS) during the Fiscal Court’s regular meeting on Friday.

Chaffins said he learned of the program while attending a Sheriff’s Conference in Owensboro, KY, and that it will cost the county nothing to participate.

The program allows any full-time, sworn in law enforcement officer from outside of Grayson County to take police action in Grayson County in an emergency situation where immediate action is required (incident enforcement action) and another local officer may not be able to respond right away, Chaffins said.

According to the standard operating procedures for BACKUPPS, an out-of-county officer may only take incident enforcement action in the event that he or she directly witnesses a risk to public safety or a risk of substantial injury to a person, or unless requested by the local jurisdiction.

“We’re not going to have police from other counties doing traffic control,” said Chaffins.

The BACKUPPS program does allow out-of-county law enforcement officers to take “intended enforcement action”—such as investigations, undercover operations, and criminal interdictions that are the officers’ sole reason for being in Grayson County; however, they are required to give notice to the host jurisdiction (Grayson County Sheriff’s Office or Leitchfield, Clarkson, or Caneyville Police Department) of their activity, to the extent that the host jurisdiction will be able to provide assistance, if needed, the procedures state.

“It unifies us all,” said Chaffins.

In other business:

*The Fiscal Court approved Grayson County Jailer Jason Woosley’s request to use $5,000 of the Grayson County Detention Center’s budget per year to reimburse employees from Commonwealth Attorney David Williams’ office for additional work on “Rocket Docket” programs.

Williams said some criminal charges, such as possession charges, which are Class D felonies, can qualify for a shorter judicial process, but his office would require additional funding to pay his staff to prosecute these “Rocket Docket” cases.

Rocket Dockets are designed to process appropriate cases more swiftly through the judicial system and more quickly identify defendants for the appropriate drug treatment, in an effort to cut costs on housing inmates.

According to a 2015 report supplied by Woosley, the Rocket Docket Initiative saved an estimated $2.8 million in local jail costs in a three-month period.

Woosley said it costs the detention center roughly $13,000 per year to house a county inmate, and each additional day an inmate is out of the detention center thanks to the Rocket Docket program can save money for the jail.

*The Fiscal Court accepted the $52,282 bid from E & H Bridge, out of Bedford, IN, for a new bridge on Pine Knob Road. This was the only bid received for the project.

Grayson County Judge Executive Gary Logsdon said the steel deck bridge will be 40 feet long with a 30° skew and 16 feet wide.

E & H Bridge will not set the bridge itself, so the Fiscal Court will next need to advertise for a concrete head wall and the installation of the bridge, which it voted to do.

Logsdon also said the Fiscal Court has advertised for bids for the Bloomington Bridge project, and bids will be opened for it on Friday, Sept. 23.

*The Fiscal Court approved declaring three vehicles to be surplus and placed up for bid.

*The Fiscal Court entered executive session, but no action was taken on possible litigation, Logsdon said.

*The Fiscal Court approved purchasing new window blinds for Grayson County Clerk Sherry Weedman’s office at the cost of $2,500.

*The Fiscal Court accepted the resignation of Rebecca Escue from the Grayson County Health Department and voted to replace her with Jason Dennis. The position is unpaid.

By Matt Lasley

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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