Spotlight: Campbellsburg Police Chief Tony Rucker
AT A GLANCE
Years in Law Enforcement: 38
Law Enforcement Experience:
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement; Office of Special Investigations – Natural Resources; Kentucky State Water Patrol; Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Education: Studied at Jefferson Community College, Louisville; The Marine Corps active and active reserve for a total of 42 years before retiring
I feel it is important to be honest with everyone you come in contact with. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. You do that by treating everyone with respect – after all you work for the people of your city. I also feel it is important to be loyal to your agency and always promote it in a good light. You do not have to agree with everything, but you should remain loyal.
WHAT DOES NOT WORK?
Doing something a certain way just because we have always done it that way, is not always good. Search out different ways and methods that others may be using, and be willing to give them a try. Scheduling would be another point. An officer should not become complacent and fall in a rut working the same hours, schedule or shift. Being a one-man department, it is important the community sees me all the time. I do not work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. It is important that your community sees you at all hours in the community, not just the same shift.
The last point is do not try to do everything by yourself; ask for help. Do not close yourself off from assistance and even ideas from other law enforcement agencies. I am very fortunate to have Kentucky State Police Post 5 in my backyard. They are a Godsend and help me in many ways. In addition, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office helps any time I ask. They are some good folks, too. We all support one another. We are friends and fellow officers.
Teamwork is a necessity. Campbellsburg Day is in June. This festival is an opportunity for residents of our county to come together and socialize. We have vendors, activities for the kids, band performances, food vendors, arts and crafts, a parade and various entertainment acts. I know KSP, Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the emergency medical services will all be here to assist with traffic control and whatever else is needed to keep everyone safe. Of course, teamwork is just that – everyone working together. I help these agencies any time I can.
OFFICER SAFETY NUGGETS
Wearing your vest and seat belts obviously are important. Wear your vest because you never know who you will encounter or what is going to happen. I am a firm believer in seat belts. You do not start your vehicle until your seat belt is on. The things we know to do every day ensure our safety. I think awareness is paramount. Be aware of what you are doing at all times, whether it is a traffic stop or being called to a home. Be conscious of your surroundings, especially if there are many people around. Try to be aware of your environment at all times, and be ready to react to any given situation. That will ensure you go home at the end of the shift.
I am a Henry County native. I enlisted in the Marine Corps and then returned home where there still are a lot of those folks I grew up around. When some of the older folks have a problem, they feel comfortable talking with someone they know, rather than a stranger some times. They all helped raise me and watched over me growing up, and now it is my turn to protect them. They look for protection, and I am glad I can be there for them; it’s my job. They know they can call me anytime. Thankfully, they trust me and know I care about them. I hope I am helping them enjoy and experience small-town living.
Loving this profession will make you a better law enforcement officer.