KACo: Did you know?
Since its creation in 1974, the Kentucky Association of Counties has represented the needs of county government in legislative matters and offered a variety of services and assistance to Kentucky’s 120 counties to improve and promote the progress of county government.
KACo’s property and casualty insurance program, known as the All Lines Fund offers law enforcement liability coverage. With most Kentucky sheriffs’ offices providing full-time law enforcement coverage, along with several counties supporting a county police department, this is a high-liability area for KACo.
Seeking first and foremost to protect Kentucky’s law enforcement officers and in turn reduce county liability and claims, KACo offers many services supporting training and loss control through its Safety and Loss Control department. Those services include a traveling firearms simulator KACo loans to local law enforcement agencies and county governments to offer officers, officials and even civic groups the opportunity to experience the situations and circumstances hundreds of thousands of law enforcement members across the country face daily. The simulator trains in different techniques and teaches them how to make life-and-death decisions, using 400 scenarios where the outcome can be altered based on how an officer reacts to the situation.
KACo also offers defensive driving classes, including Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator and pursuit management courses specifically for law enforcement officers. The CEVO II course focuses on comprehensive coverage of collision-prevention techniques, including cushion of safety, scanning, vehicle positioning, handling blind spots, safe backing and parking procedures. In addition, it provides coverage of a wide range of other safety-related topics, including vehicle inspection, emergency and non-emergency driving differences and maneuvering procedures specific to police business, such as U-turns and pulling over violators.
“We lose more officers each year to driving-related incidents than any other category of line-of-duty deaths,” Department of Criminal Justice Training Commissioner Mark Filburn said. “Any training that can be done to minimize the number of officers injured while driving or in traffic related incidents is welcome and beneficial to the entire law enforcement community.”
According to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial statistics, as of Oct. 12, 2016, 39 officers have been killed in traffic-related incidents in 2016, second only to firearms-related incidents which are up by 50 percent from the same time in 2015. KACo’s focus on these two areas is vital in educating and preparing Kentucky’s deputies and county officers to keep them engaged and deter complacency, Filburn said.
However, KACo doesn’t just offer its own training and equipment to help make Kentucky’s officers safer and educate government officials on realities of law enforcement duties, but also helps sponsor training by other providers. For example, in June KACo partnered with the DOCJT and Kentucky League of Cities to pay for the Training Safety Officer and STOPS training for DOCJT instructors.
“One of the first phone calls I received after coming to DOCJT was from Brian Roy at KACo, letting me know that KACo was fully supportive of the mission of training and wanted to help in any way they could,” Filburn said. “Our partnership and relationship with them is very important.”
In his former position with KLC, Filburn partnered with KACo on numerous joint initiatives, including developing and providing model policies for law enforcement agencies across the commonwealth. KACo also stands in support of Kentucky’s sheriffs by partnering with Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association to assist them in acquiring high-caliber speakers to bring some of the country’s best and brightest to provide leadership training at KSA’s annual conferences.
“In conjunction with the Department of Criminal Justice Training, we find the folks we want to bring in and ask KACo if they can help make it happen; they always say yes,” said KSA Executive Director Jerry Wagner. “Our conference is not just a 40-hour in-service, it’s actually very high-caliber leadership training.”
Wagner touts Kentucky’s sheriffs’ connection with attorney Jack Ryan as one of the biggest assets KACo has provided through working with the KSA. Ryan has conducted training for law enforcement, attorneys, and risk managers nationwide. In addition, he has led multiple projects in writing model policies on high-risk, critical tasks for jails as well as law enforcement road operations. Ryan also has provided expert consultation and testimony in law enforcement litigation throughout the United States.
“He is a resource Kentucky sheriffs use nearly day to day,” Wagner said of Ryan, “especially if you think that around the state every day an agency is using a policy that he helped create or taught us on that issue.”
KACo is a positive and vital resource from which Kentucky’s sheriff agencies and county police departments should look to build positive relationships and glean from the services and programs they have to offer to keep their officers and communities safer.