, Corbin, KY

November 11, 2013

Police dept. forms partnership with Homeland Security, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

The Barbourville Police Department has “gone federal” — by request.

During the regular monthly meeting of the Barbourville City Council, BPD Detective Steve Owens told council members that their department was tapped by the federal Office of Homeland Security.

“Basically, Homeland Security came to the Barbourville Police Department requesting an officer (to be a part of their) task force,” Owens said.

Council members were required to approve a resolution that included a “memorandum of understanding” that established the partnership between the BPD and Homeland Security.

Owens added that the designated officer would have federal investigative powers. Owens explained that if the city’s police department uncovers a crime that would lead to federal charges, that officer would be able to assist.

Owens also told council members that the city would receive a portion of any monies or property seized during the course of an investigation that leads to federal charges and/or convictions.

“This would simply be for existing cases or new (cases) for the Barbourville Police Department that met federal criteria,” Owens added.

Police Chief Mike Broughton told council members he reviewed the request. “I looked over this,” he said. “And it’s very positive — it’s a win-win for the city.”

Council members appeared to agree. “It seems real good (for law enforcement) to work with other agencies,” said Council member Sherman Lawson.

Council member Gary Williams asked the chief how it “would be a win-win” situation for Barbourville.

“(If) a case originates within the city (and) it meets federal criteria (for the) Homeland Security designee, (then if there’s) any money seized during the investigation — it entitles the city to a portion of that money,” Broughton said.

Further, any overtime hours earned by the BPD Homeland Security designee during the course of any federal investigation would be paid by the Homeland Security office — up to $15,000.

Council member Ronnie Moore motioned to approve the resolution with a second from Lawson — but those had to be held until Mayor David Thompson read the actual resolution.

“We had a lot of meetings and discussion on this to make sure everything was all right,” Thompson said.

“At any point in time the MOU can be terminated,” Broughton added.

Once the resolution was read, Moore motioned for its approval with a second from Lawson. Council members were unanimous in their decision.

In other board business:

— Softball enthusiasts, mark your calendars.

During Thursday’s meeting, resident Scotty Powell was slated to approach council members concerning softball leagues — or lack thereof — in the city of Barbourville.

However, Thompson said after speaking with Powell, the decision was made to hold a meeting on the subject.

All interested parties seeking to rejuvenate the softball leagues in the city should plan to meet 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at city hall.

Years ago, Thompson said there were as many as 10 to 12 teams competing — however, recent years have seen as few as three or four teams signing up to play ball.

“We’ll have the meeting and see how it works out,” the mayor said.

There was even some discussion about having a winter league for softball, but no decisions were made or required on the subject.

— Xerox is one step closer to opening the doors.

During Thursday’s meeting Jim Baker, who leads the street department, announced that Partnership Drive, once known as Infinity Road, has now been completely blacktopped — at no cost to the city.

He explained that through Sen. Robert Stivers, the city was able to secure the funds required to pave the stretch of road.

No decision was required on this report.

— Code Enforcement Officer Corey Moren came before council early in October and explained there have been several complaints about various residential dumpsters.

Moren had suggested then the dumpsters were too close to the road — and the mess gathered from these has caused resident concern.

Moren added that the property owners where the dumpsters are located were not cooperating with the city in moving them.

So the decision was made for Moren to write a draft ordinance for council members to review and discuss that would require residential dumpsters to be so far off the road and enclosed, as commercial businesses do.

However, when Moore asked how that draft was coming along, Moren explained those property owners with dumpster issues have since corrected the problem on their own.

But the ordinance could still be something for council to review and approve. “I’ve got it if I need it in the future,” Moren told council members.

He added that other cities in Kentucky already have those ordinances in place — and then offered to write a draft ordinance for council members to review and discuss.