LETTER: No crime between midnight and 6 a.m.?

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Sheriff gets clean audit? I have heard that hot air before, dealing with many of the audits of our elected officials. The problem with audits is you only see what is given to you.
Since taking office, Sheriff Stump has been escalating the cost to operate his department at a fast and furious pace. Recently, he requested new carpet and furniture for the sheriff’s office.
Stump has even been charging taxpayers 50 cents per page of open record documents. Legally 10 cents is the price allowed by Kentucky Administrative Regulation 200 1:020 section 3.
Stump has willfully failed to provide active law enforcement coverage to county residents from the hours of midnight to 6 a.m. Kentucky State Police dispatch has a policy in place that instructs for the nearest on-duty law enforcement agency to be notified when a call comes in.
Since Stump is asleep in his bed and has scheduled no on-duty deputies, dispatch calls the City of Taylorsville. Chief Toby Lewis instructed me, although his department is not required to respond to county runs, it does. Lewis stated that he is not going to deny taxpayers help just because they are outside the city limits.
Lewis, a former marine, always faithful, is what I refer to as a patriot.
His department is suffering a $1,000 per month increase in fuel costs, in part because of his taking up the slack for Stump.
Use of city law enforcement equipment and labor are also a major consideration. Stump does not reimburse the city.
Fiscal Court limits the clerk’s budget, but the sheriff’s budget has no limit. Yet no money is dedicated for nighttime patrols.
Please remember, city residents pay both city and county taxes. City taxpayers are not only being denied night coverage from the sheriff’s deparment, but suffering loss of city patrols when officers respond to county calls.
The issue of breath testing for DUI has come up (KRS 189A.103). A peace officer must be certified to administer this test, less it be inadmissable in court. Chief Lewis and his complete department are certified. Stump is not certified nor are all his deputies. Stump’s response — if they have a suspected DUI, they will wait until a certified officer shows up or take the suspect to the city and have them perform the test. Lewis’ department is not reimbursed. Why?
The Spencer County Drug Intervention Fund was created in 2007. Stump is a member of the oversight committee and receives money from this fund. The ordinance creating this fund requires an independent yearly audit. No audit has been performed since its creation nearly five years ago.
Since a changed ordinance was created in June 2011, two civilian appointments were mandated to be made. Nothing has been done. Meetings are irregular, and little, if any, oversight is conveyed to the public. Why?
KRS 70.290 allows a sheriff to enter into an agreement with new deputies, allowing for a three year contract. If a sheriff pays for the new deputies training and the new hire leaves during those three years, reimbursement would be required to the sheriff’s department. Stump has no such contracts, therefore putting the taxpayers at great risk of spending large sums of money to train deputies, only for them to leave and go to other agencies. Good ole boy network?
I would greatly appreciate if the criminal element in and around Spencer County would cease all criminal activity between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Even the sheriff’s office needs it’s beauty sleep.
Lawrence Trageser

Editor’s note: Sheriff Buddy Stump has said his department will be prepared to provide 24/7 coverage mid-year, which will be 18 months into his term as sheriff. The sheriff’s department has not previously provided scheduled 24/7 coverage to the county. The Taylorsville City Police has had 24/7 coverage since the beginning of 2011.