FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear today saluted 45 new Kentucky State Police troopers on their graduation from the KSP Training Academy, reminding them of the immense responsibility that comes with their badge.
“Your lives have changed significantly since you started this program, and it will change even more once you start putting into practice what you’ve learned here,” Gov. Beshear said. “You’ll have the unique and tremendously important ability to impact people’s lives: offering protection to the offended, aid to the hurt, and comfort to the grieving. People will look up to you, and you will be able to change their lives for the better.”
He added that the graduation was somewhat bittersweet – the last class of his administration, but the first to train and live entirely at the new KSP Training Academy, which he dedicated in April after approving the conversion of a former state prison into the new, state-of-the-art training facility.
“One of my top priorities since taking office has been to bolster public safety,” Gov. Beshear said, “and that means making sure our law enforcement officers have the tools and training they need to meet the challenges of modern crime fighting.”
Gov. Beshear said the state police “represent some of the most dedicated, committed and trained professionals in the industry,” and that he was proud that despite tight budgets he was able to work with the General Assembly to set aside funds allowing KSP to hold cadet classes every year of his administration.
“We are grateful that throughout his administration, Gov. Beshear’s steadfast support of the Kentucky State Police has enabled us to continue training new cadets on a regular basis,” said KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “This commitment to public safety has aided our efforts to replenish our strength levels and provide strong, effective service to the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
The new academy and ongoing cadet classes are among several initiatives Gov. Beshear has pushed to improve and strengthen public safety. He noted, for example, that by working with state and local leaders, law enforcement officials and treatment professionals, Kentucky has been able to make tangible progress on its stubborn substance abuse and addiction problem.
“We’ve worked across party lines to target methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse, synthetic drugs and, most recently, heroin, with multi-faceted strategies,” he said, and the result has been a significant decline in prescriptions for the most commonly abused medications, a reduction of 50 percent in ‘doctor shopping’ and more Kentuckians seeking treatment for addiction.
Gov. Beshear also credited partnerships throughout his eight years in office with:
• Allowing the Commonwealth to modernize its drug laws, putting a bigger focus on treatment and programs to keep offenders who leave prison from returning;
• Reducing the prison population, especially the number of minimum-custody inmates, allowing the Department of Corrections to eliminate private-prison contracts and close a state prison;
• Converting a former state psychiatric hospital into a state-of-the-art facility for our medical examiner;
• Revamping Kentucky’s juvenile justice system, to steer more young offenders into community-based treatment, rather than locking them up in detention centers;
• Extending needed protections to dating partners;
• Channeling more money into the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit; and
• Placing social workers in public defender offices.
“I’m proud that by working together, we’ve made Kentucky safer and more responsive than it was eight years ago,” he said.