By Lynn Bledsoe
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Recently a Kentucky State Trooper went viral when he stopped to help change someone’s tire. This is a normal day for most Troopers, helping fellow citizens is part of their calling. Our Kentucky State Police do many things to help their communities.
Law enforcement is a vital part of each community. We all know they deal with criminal activity, traffic stops, and domestic issues daily. What is not widely known is the positive things brought to the community from law enforcement. They are not just here to protect but to also serve and that comes in a variety of ways. Kentucky State Police have a variety of Outreach programs that allow KSP to bring knowledge to communities and to help build accessibility from citizens to KSP in a positive way.
The Trooper Teddy Bear program was started in 1989. The bears are used to help calm and give comfort to children who have experienced a traumatic event. Children are often the indirect victim of crimes or they can be involved in an auto accident. Trooper Teddy Bears supply them with something to distract and build trust with the Troopers who are involved.
Trooper Island is another outreach done for children in the state. Set along Dale Hollow Lake Trooper Island gives children and Troopers a chance to enjoy the outdoors and relax. The camp helps to build a positive image about KSP for kids in the 10-12 year age range.
The Kentucky State Police run Safety Town at the Kentucky State Fair each year. Kids must meet the general height requirement of 3 and a half feet to enter. they get to ride tricycles around safety town to see how well they know the rules of the road.
KSP also provides a service called Safe Schools. Safe Schools provides support for schools and training on how to react to a shooter in school incident. KSP works with the schools to develop action plans for staff. There are four levels and videos for the school’s use.
Handle with Care is another program that KSP provides through the school systems. It’s very simple, but very helpful tool to let schools be aware that a child has been exposed or involved with a trauma situation. KSP will text or email with the child’s name and the message, Handle with Care”. No details are sent as to what the incident was. This lets the school know to be more alert to the child’s needs.
Kentucky State Police is always involved with Cram the Cruiser. KSP Cram the Cruiser accepts nonperishable food donations for families in need. For two weeks each year, donations are accepted.
Every KSP post in the state has Troopers who are certified as child safety seat technicians. This free service will help parents or other family members or daycares to make sure all children are properly restrained.
Each post of the Kentucky State Police has a social media presence. For local KSP post 15, that person is Tpr. Jonathan Houk. He posts about road conditions, missing persons, visits to local schools, and community interactions.
KSP also has a program called the Angel Initiative that helps individuals with drug addiction. Anyone who needs help can ask KSP and they will help with getting access to rehab for them. The program started in 2016 as a way to help slow the opioid epidemic. KSP will still pursue and prosecute any drug traffickers but want to extend a hand to help those who want to change their lives for the better.
KSP has multiple education exhibits. The Mobil Drug Education Unit is a 45-foot trailer with interactive screens that show the number of drug overdoses and deaths. The unit also explains the connection between the drug trade and human trafficking. Another exhibit they have is the rollover simulator. This shows the effect of a rollover crash without a seat belt or an improperly used seat belt versus the correct way to wear a seat belt. The driving simulator shows how quickly drivers can become distracted from text messages while driving. The Crash Trailer uses an actual vehicle involved in an accident. Each year it is updated. Students learn about the crash and can view the car involved in order to learn about driving safely. Along with these programs, KSP also has coloring pages of the K-9 mascot. KSP also has a 1949 Ford sedan, a 1972 Ford LTD, a 1980 Ford Mustang, and a 2015 Chevy Camaro SS. These cars are used for events throughout the community such as parades.
The Kentucky State Police are very involved with their communities and work hard each day putting their lives at risk while trying to help others. The outreach programs are the positive things they bring for the communities benefit.