Kentuckians are encouraged to visit ‘Safety Town’ to learn about traffic and community safety
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2022) – The Kentucky State Police (KSP) encourages families to visit the new and improved Safety Town at the Kentucky State Fair starting today through Aug. 28 in Louisville.
“For a better and safer Kentucky to be built we must educate our children starting at a young age on traffic, community, and school safety. This includes knowing and trusting law enforcement so when they are faced with danger, they reach out to our first responders for help,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Thank you to KSP for connecting with our youngest Kentuckians and making this year’s Kentucky State Fair experience unique and memorable for people of all ages.”
For more than 60 years, KSP has not only provided security at the Kentucky State Fair but managed the Safety Town booth. This year, Safety Town received donations through the Kentucky State Police Foundation, allowing the agency to enhance the exhibit. A private donor provided the opportunity to upgrade its safety vehicles from tricycles to the Berg Reppy Roadster four-wheel pedal car that offers an adjustable seat to fit children 2-6 years of age. Pemberton’s Greenhouses in Lexington donated plants, trees, and shrubs to enhance the exhibit’s visual landscape.
“As children enter Safety Town, they will receive a custom-made driver’s license and participate in a short briefing by a trooper about traffic safety,” said KSP Public Affairs Commander, Captain Paul Blanton. “Children will get to select a pedal car and hit the driving course to apply what they learned. KSP is committed to training not only law enforcement officers but Kentuckians of all ages to make the commonwealth safer for future generations to come.”
Additionally, KSP will have exhibits geared toward educating citizens about the dangers of substance abuse. The Mobile Substance Abuse Educational Exhibit was made possible through the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy’s HARM grant award. In June, the Commonwealth of Kentucky released the 2021 Drug Overdose Report which indicated that 2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 14.5% increase compared with the year prior. More than 107,000 overdose deaths were reported in the United States between December 2020 to December 2021.
“While Safety Town is the fun-loving focus of the agency exhibit, we also host the KSP Mobile Substance Abuse Education Exhibit with a goal of decreasing addiction and overdose deaths,” says Capt. Blanton. “From tobacco to fentanyl, this unit includes every potential substance that could endanger Kentuckians. Thousands of visitors attend the fair each year, and we hope to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of drugs.”
The KSP Safety Town exhibit and Mobile Substance Abuse Exhibit are located in the South Wing at the Kentucky Exposition Center. KSP will also feature its current and historic cars, including the 1972 and 1978 cruisers, Corvette, Camaro, Tahoe, and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Tahoe. To learn more about the public education exhibits, visit the website.
More about KSP’s Safety Town Exhibit
The KSP Foundation has been partnering with local businesses to enhance Safety Town by customizing its buildings with companies that operate in the commonwealth. The newest member of Safety Town is Shuler Bauer Real Estate Office, and visitors will see their custom-designed building on display. If you are interested in purchasing real estate in Safety Town, visit their website.
Visitors to the exhibit can also purchase $10 raffle tickets to win a new 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited Denali. The winning ticket will be drawn on the last day of the fair at 4:00 PM EST. Funds raised by the raffle support Trooper Island Camp, a free summer camp for underprivileged boys and girls 10-12 operated by KSP on Dale Hollow Lake in Clinton County. It is funded entirely by donations. To learn more about Trooper Island Camp or donate, visit the website.
The new KSP Mascot, Justice the Bulldog, will appear at the Kentucky State Fair. In July, KSP announced the mascot on its Facebook page as the latest addition to the agency’s community outreach program. Justice is a custom-designed bulldog that reflects a KSP trooper with a fitted gray uniform and campaign hat.
KSP’s Mission to Building a Better, Safer Kentucky
The mission of KSP is to promote public safety through service, integrity and professionalism using partnerships to prevent, reduce and deter crime and the fear of crime, enhance highway safety through education and enforcement, safeguard property and protect individual rights.
This year, the number one priority for KSP is creating a better Kentucky by making the commonwealth’s streets safer, communities stronger and the nation more secure by providing exceptional law enforcement made up of a diverse workforce. For more information about career opportunities with KSP, visit the agency’s recruitment booth at the Kentucky State Fair located in the South Wing Exhibit Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center or visit the website.
Beshear-Coleman Administration Commitment to Making Kentucky a National Leader in Public Safety
The Beshear-Coleman administration’s top priority is the safety of all Kentuckians. The public safety actions already taken by the Governor are creating safer communities and a better Kentucky now and into the future.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has awarded almost $8 million in grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase the tools and resources that will not only allow them to protect our communities but will also ensure their own safety as they stand on the front lines every day.
The recently enacted bipartisan state budget signed by Gov. Andy Beshear allows the commonwealth to take additional steps forward to make Kentucky a leader in public safety by enhancing law enforcement training, creating safer communities and improving the safety of both law enforcement officers and Kentuckians. The Commonwealth of Kentucky budget effective July 1 provides $28,536,000 for a multipurpose training facility to be built on the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s Richmond campus, $2.5 million for a Western Kentucky site feasibility study for an additional law enforcement training campus and $3,737,000 to raise the annual training stipend for law enforcement officers to $4,300. Read the full release here.
In June, Gov. Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program (M-2-LE). M-2-LE allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all branches of the U.S. Military during their last 180 days of service. Upon being contracted by a law enforcement agency, the military member will continue to receive their pay and benefits from the U.S. Military while they undergo law enforcement training at DOCJT.
In April, the Governor signed into law two pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly to make historic investments in law enforcement by providing funds to KSP to recruit, train and retain the essential workforce needed to continue to provide the highest level of security to all Kentuckians. House Bill 259 ensures that all troopers will receive a $15,000 raise. Additionally, KSP’s starting pay for sworn officers will increase from $37,887 to $55,888 annually. By signing Senate Bill 209, Gov. Beshear established paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, as well as enhanced health insurance contribution payments for retired KSP troopers and CVE officers.
Also, as the Governor recommended in January 2022, $12.2 million was included in the state budget for KSP to purchase body cameras, which is the first time in the commonwealth’s history that funding has been allocated for this much-needed expense.
Gov. Beshear has championed legislative action like Senate Bill 64 and House Bill 254, making it easier for law enforcement to conduct undercover stings and increase the chances of stopping a horrific crime against a child from being facilitated through the internet. These actions will also provide law enforcement officers with the authority to charge offenders with harsher crimes to keep them away from the public, preventing further interactions with Kentucky’s most vulnerable population.
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