The officer referred to in last week’s letter from Lisabeth Blair is me, Lt. Steve Johnson. I worked with Mrs. Blair and the Cabinet for Social Services for several years and continue to have a good working relationship with the present cabinet employees. It is for this reason the letter came as a surprise to me.
Mrs. Blair, when referring to the current sheriff’s office, wrote that any time the allegations were in the county, she was free to call any deputy working during that time. The Hodgenville Police Department policy then and now is that the city officer on duty will go with any social worker to an initial investigation of any complaint. As second in command of HPD, I can assure you that she, nor any other social worker, has ever been denied assistance by the department.
I have extensive training in social service matters. At the time of the incident Mrs. Blair is referring to, I was off duty and she had asked that I accompany her. She did not want to use the officer on duty. Any police officer has adequate training to assist a social worker in any initial complaint. It does not take any special training to provide protection to a social worker when they go on a call.
The city did not expend overtime hours for initial investigations. When Mayor Cruse asked the Cabinet to do the initial investigations during my on-duty time, if they only wanted to use me as the officer, the Cabinet indicated that due to budget constraints, the state would not allow overtime.
Mayor Cruse has updated our police department with new vehicles and equipment. Although he does not waste the city taxpayers’ money, he has helped us become more proficient in our jobs and has been pro-enforcement.
Lt. Steve Johnson
Hodgenville City Police