Glasgow Police Chief Calls Out Newspaper, Disgruntled Officers in Open Letter To Citizens PDF Print
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 05:09

 

OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF GLASGOW

 

Dear Media:

 

I came to Glasgow in March 2011 hired by Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman, a search committee of four members and the Glasgow City Council to serve as the Chief of Police of the Glasgow Police Department. My family and I immediately fell in love with the City of Glasgow and Barren County. A veteran of the US Air Force, my wife appreciates the recognition and attention to our veterans in this community. Our children have attended Barren County Schools and excelled in academics as well as technical programs and sports. We attribute their success to the wonderful men and women that teach our children within both school systems. My wife and I hold our teachers and administrators in high regard and are truly appreciative of the hard work they do. We are in a wonderful community to raise a family and have enjoyed our time here. We have met so many great people and look forward to meeting more.

 

I fell under scrutiny before I ever took the Oath of Office to serve the citizens of Glasgow from certain media outlets fueled by the agenda of a handful of people who represent a small group who refuse to accept change and would not accept an “outsider”. Citizens of Glasgow will recall that the Glasgow Daily Times made false statements about me that they later were required to retract. Accusations and rumors have since circulated within the community based off of those reports which had no merit. These stories are simply not true and have been circulated to discredit me and my family.

 

Many of these accusations and rumors were generated from within the police department by those not willing to accept change due to their own selfish agendas. Again, these accusations have absolutely no merit and I ask the citizens of Glasgow to look past unsubstantiated rumors and gossip. I have been told by members of the community on several occasions that one of my senior officers of the Glasgow Police Department tells citizens and other officers he will “be there (in the police department) one day longer than Turcotte.” Does this give the impression of cooperation or undermining the ability to run the agency? When I came to this Department there were clearly discipline problems with certain officers. As the situation has warranted I have not hesitated to hold officers accountable for misbehavior within the laws governing discipline of police officers. I have stayed quiet and tried to work within the department to get past the 5 or 6 who will not accept I am here to do this job and consistently undermine the progress we are making. I will continue to make the Glasgow Police Department an agency that Glasgow can be proud of.

With that being said, there have been many of the officers very pleased to see a new set of eyes and needed improvements and are happy with the direction the department is headed. Simply put, the Glasgow Police Department is the best it has been in years.

 

Change is often difficult but sometimes it is the only way to move forward. Saying this, I would like to share with you some of the improvements and accomplishments of the Glasgow Police Department since my arrival. I cannot take full credit for such accomplishments as it takes the cooperation of the majority of the department and its hardworking officers as well as the Mayor and City Council for us to accomplish our goals and take care of the needs of Glasgow. Law enforcement is not just patrolling the streets, responding to calls, and investigating crimes. It is community involvement, public trust, and a willingness to go above and beyond the job to help fellow citizens and do so with compassion. I am blessed with many great officers who want to do their job well and I appreciate all they do every day.

Over the past few years we have made significant upgrades at the Department to our equipment and technology including car cameras, patrol cars, public safety radios, weapons and computers. We have a long-overdue new facility that provides professional space for our officers and the public. We recently received a 5-year re-accreditation by the Kentucky Association of Police Chiefs recognizing our high standards of performance, achieving all this while reducing the budget by 13.8% since 2011. Finally, we have addressed personnel issues in full view of the media and the public and we have not swept issues under the rug.

 

It is my belief that police officers should set the example. They should be professional, honest and possess integrity. They should be loyal to their fellow officers, department, city, and community. In light of the aforementioned, I took steps early on to institute accountability within the department and have maintained that goal of standard to this day. However, police officers are also human and can make mistakes. They are not above the law and if they do make a mistake, must be held accountable. Many times their mistakes are put in front of the public on display as police officers are highly visible in the community. This is one of the disadvantages of being in the public eye. As a dear friend reminds me often, “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.” Though mistakes can be forgiven, not all of these can be tolerated in this line of work. It is my policy that this department does not investigate its own officers when they are accused of breaking the law. A request is made to an outside agency to respond and investigate these types of situations. However, we do conduct internal affairs investigations in conjunction with the requested agency’s case to determine if there was wrong doing or if any Standard Operating Procedures were violated. A criminal investigation would not include violation of department/city policy which then leads to the internal affairs investigation. If a corrective action or termination is deemed necessary, it is recommended to the Mayor and City Council.

 

The Police Department could not accomplish the work we do without the support and hard work of Mayor Trautman. I have been impressed with her knowledge of city government and her willingness to serve in her capacity as Mayor. I have seen her spend

large amounts of time within each of the city’s departments. In regards to the Police Department, she has participated in our ride along program and has educated herself in law enforcement. She is always accessible and takes a very active role in police matters. I can depend on her to listen and think through many situations and she has been responsive to the community when questions have arisen.

The City Council is a diversified group of citizens creating well rounded representation for the citizens of Glasgow. I have enjoyed working with them in the past and appreciate the support and encouragement I have received from several of the council members.

In closing, my primary goal as chief of police is to have the best department possible. I encourage anyone with questions about the police department or wanting a better understanding of what we do, my door is always open. In addition, on the first Wednesday of each month at Miqueal’s Bistro, I have Chief’s Coffee Corner at 7:00 AM. I invite the public to come by for a free cup of coffee and ask any questions or hear from guests from different areas of the community. Share your concerns and thoughts. This is just one outlet to sit and talk. I am always willing to discuss your concerns one on one as well.

Sincerely,

Guy J. Turcotte

Chief of Police

 

Today is Jackie Page Day!!  Celebrating a Birthday Today!!

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