Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement
KSP &and KVE to be included in KLEFPF by 2006
Effective January 1, 2006, state troopers, arson investigators, hazardous-devices investigators and legislative security specialists of the Kentucky State Police and officers of the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement will begin participation in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund (KLEFPF) and will receive the $3,100 annual training incentive pay stipend.
“The inclusion of KSP and KVE officers into KLEFPF is essential to protecting Kentucky’s investment in training and preparing these officers to serve the Commonwealth,” Governor Ernie Fletcher said. “I hope that bringing these entities into the Fund will strengthen the state’s endeavors to increase the proficiency and longevity of the officers hired and trained with these departments.”
House Bill 267, which established the Commonwealth’s biennial budget for 2004 through 2006, made provisions for these entities to enter the Fund and join the other 6,313 peace officers currently receiving the Fund stipend.
“Bringing KSP and KVE into KLEFPF was a top priority during the 2005 legislative session,” said Lt. Governor Stephen Pence, who also serves as secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
“The exclusion of these two large sections of law enforcement personnel from the Fund was inequitable, and I am pleased that these officers will now be receiving the same benefits as their fellow rural, urban and local law enforcement counterparts.” The inclusion of these two groups into the Fund increases the total enrollment to nearly 7,500 officers.
“For the first time, KSP will share equally in the benefits of KLEFPF funding with local police agencies, sheriff’s departments, and university police,” KSP Commissioner Mark Miller said. “We are deeply appreciative of the efforts of Governor Fletcher, Lt. Governor Pence, the members of the General Assembly and the work of the Department of Criminal Justice Training to extend the benefits of KLEFPF to our agency.”
There was a significant amount of support for HB 267 in both the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate.
“In the future, we must be ever mindful to maintain our law enforcement salaries and benefits at a level sufficient to recruit and retain those charged with protecting our citizens,” Senate President David L. Williams said.
Many legislators supported the bill because of the benefits it provides to not only the troopers and officers, but also for protection and safety of the Commonwealth as whole.
“Our men and women in law enforcement need all the help they can get. I’m proud to have played a role in helping provide additional support to Kentucky’s police, deputies, troopers and other officers,” said Jody Richards, speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives. “The Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund has helped make Kentucky a safer state for our citizens by providing for our law enforcement officers. KLEFPF has consistently expanded since 1972, and I will continue to support it.”
“The fact that these groups are in the KLEFPF fund allows Kentucky to offer competitive pay raises and salaries so we can attract the best and keep the best in law enforcement,” Sen. Robert Stivers said.
Keeping the best, most qualified officers is immensely important to KVE Commissioner Greg Howard.
“KVE’s inclusion in KLEFPF allows us to better support our officers, and the stipend will be instrumental in helping us attract better, more qualified individuals to our department,” he said.
Representative Harry Moberly agrees that officer retention is a big factor in including these entities in KLEFPF.
“I was particularly pleased that we were able to include the Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement in the Fund,” Moberly said. “Certainly, this will help retain and recruit officers for two agencies that render outstanding service in protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth. The continuing stewardship of the fund by DOCJT makes it possible to take such appropriate actions to strengthen law enforcement in Kentucky.”
History and Information on KLEFPF
In July 1972 the KLEFPF was established by the legislature. This Fund provided a pay incentive to municipal and county police officers whose agencies adopted the established KLEFPF standards to include sending all full-time officers for training. Sheriffs, their deputies and all other law enforcement agencies not specifically named in the statute were excluded from the KLEFPF. However, training was made available to them.
In July 1998 the Fund was restructured to include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and university police. At that time, approximately 1,350 peace officers were added to the fund, which had increased the total number of peace officers to 5,600 by the end of 1998. The annual pay incentive for all KLEFPF participants has also steadily increased from over the years from $2,500 in 1998 to its last increase in 2001 to $3,100.
Any city or county that employs a paid police or sheriff’s force and meets the requirements of KRS 15.440 may participate in KLEFPF. The Fund will annually pay each law enforcement officer who attends the minimum number of training hours the annual supplement. The fund requires all law enforcement officers to successfully complete 640 hours of basic training within one year of the date of employment and 40 hours of annual in-service training approved by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.
“The Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund has been an invaluable resource to local law enforcement since 1974,” said Dr. John Bizzack, commissioner of DOCJT, who administers the Fund. “The addition of deputy sheriffs, airport and university police in 1998 and now the addition of KVE and KSP brings the pay incentive closer to proficiency pay for law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth.” The Fund receives its money from surcharges on casualty insurance, including homeowners, fi re protection and vehicle policies.
The Future of KLEFPF
As times change, so does the value of money in our society. With inflation and the yearly increases in cost of living, $3,100 means less each year. The Department of Criminal Justice Training, which administers and oversees the KLEFPF, is striving to grow the stipend in coming years. However, the ability to do so depends heavily on the integrity and availability of the Fund.
“The challenges of law enforcement are in part offset by the valuable stipends provided by KLEFPF. Maintaining the integrity of KLEFPF is a high priority so to ensure that all law enforcement officers benefit from the Fund for years to come,” Bizzack said. “We will continue to support the Fund’s careful, stable growth for the future of Kentucky law enforcement.”