Spotlight: Hart County Sheriff Boston Hensley
AT A GLANCE...
Hensley has 35 years of law enforcement experience. Served as Hart County sheriff since 2005. Retired from the Kentucky State Police in 2002.
Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University
HOW DID SERVING KSP HELP IN YOUR TRANSITION TO SHERIFF OF HART COUNTY MORE THAN 11 YEARS AGO?
While the public is most familiar with the law enforcement role of the sheriff’s office, the office is multifaceted including: tax collection, election duties and court services. All these services must be provided and managed within an allocated budget. Educational preparation and the Kentucky State Police provided extensive training and experience in implementing a professional standard in the law enforcement area. My involvement in managing a farming operation and other business interests has provided experience in looking ahead at financial projections when managing the office budget.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PRIORITIES, AND ARE THERE ANY NEW PROJECTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT THE HART COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE?
My personnel is a priority — in retaining certified, well-trained, and professional staff that are capable of providing honest, efficient services to the residents of Hart County. Also, providing updated equipment and training is a priority, such as computers in cruisers, safe vehicles — including several four-wheel drives. Another priority is an updated tax collection system for online use and to receive credit card payments. Participation in the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force, enabling an expansion of resources to combat drugs in the area is another priority. Lastly, we look to participate in BACKUPPS Kentucky, an inter-jurisdictional agreement that encourages criminal investigations across arbitrary boundaries.
WHY DID YOU BRING THE D.A.R.E. PROGRAM BACK TO YOUR AGENCY?
D.A.R.E. provides a visible presence at large, public gatherings — festivals, school functions and fairs. An active presence in the schools allows students to see law enforcement in a positive view. For some children, the only interaction with law enforcement is often traumatic. Also, D.A.R.E. helps students to see officers as approachable. D.A.R.E includes instruction provided to all elementary schools at no cost to the schools and a deputy assigned to the high school. During the tragic events of school shootings, deputies were designated to be present at each elementary school to provide a sense of security to parents, teacher and students.
WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2016 KENTUCKY SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE?
This year’s conference, in addition to providing its usual comprehensive training and opportunity for networking among Kentucky sheriffs, also demonstrated a trend toward greater cooperation among police agencies. The presence of the commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, the commissioner of the Department of Criminal Justice Training and the president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, integrated with the large number of Kentucky sheriffs, shows that the motto “No Sheriff Stands Alone” is broadening its reach.