Local law enforcement officials and jailer speak at Leadership Kentucky meeting

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Leadership Kentucky Foundation, a non-profit educational organization that brings together leaders in the community, made a stop in Bowling Green.

During Friday’s conference, the local law enforcement agencies formed a panel that answered more than a dozen questions pertaining to their field of work and national unrest.

Western Kentucky University Police Chief Mitch Walker said this was a great chance for people to hear from law enforcement and ask the difficult questions.

“It’s a chance to meet folks who don’t necessarily live in this area. We can share with them our ideas and what our vision is for this community. And then they get to hear a side of law enforcement that they may not get to hear,” said Walker.

Some of those difficult questions included whether or not different ethnicities are being treated fairly in Warren County and across Kentucky. Bowling Green Police Chief Michael Delaney explained his thoughts.

“It’s not a destination, it’s a journey; something we have to keep working toward every day. And realizing, we’ve got work to do and the community can help us in that and moving forward we can be a great community if we bridge those gaps,” said Delaney.

Sheriff Brett Hightower spoke about how the Officer Bill of Rights impacts police ability to fire officers and mentioned a need for help with mental health issues throughout the community.

“We have to respond a whole lot to mental health crisis and the different crimes that that brings with it. The amount of time and man-hours with this, so we are looking for always ways that we can work with legislation to try to get other groups to come alongside of us to help with the mental health issues that effect our community,” said Hightower.

Warren County Jailer Stephen Harmon talked about the impact of the pandemic on the jail.

“In a correctional setting, it’s very difficult to social distance. We do practice good hand hygiene. We’ve put several things in place to keep the inmates and our staff safe. We don’t have any and haven’t had since the start of the pandemic any known active cases or any inmates with signs or symptoms,” said Harmon.

Another topic of conversation was the local agencies’ ability to work together as a team to accomplish one goal, to serve and protect.