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  • Ledger-Independent

    Palmer Discusses Department’s Progress and Future Projects

    By Hayley Adkins [email protected],


    The Maysville Rotary Club heard from Chief of Police Michael Palmer at the Maysville Police Department recently.

    Palmer noted that he has worked under former chiefs Butcher, Rice and Muse and had been told that it could be lonely “at the top.”

    Palmer disagreed saying, “It’s not lonely at the top because everybody wants a piece of you. Everybody’s in your office and everybody has a question and I love it, I thrive on it. I really enjoy what I’m doing and the situations that I get to deal with.”

    He said he wanted to spend his time discussing the police department and all of the things that have been going on.

    Palmer said Community Liasion Chris Neal has been posted as security at Maysville Community and Technical College and is there Monday through Friday and also goes to the culinary school and the airport to keep things in check.

    He thinks Neal’s presence with the students has been productive and stated Neal is very good with the kids, he said.

    Palmer went on to say Sgt. Kelly Prater will be retiring on Aug. 1 after 21 years of service to the City of Maysville. Prater is best known for having been the firearms instructor for the police department, according to Palmer.

    At present, the department is two officers short, he added.

    “It’s no secret that historically our region has lost officers over the years to Northern Kentucky because they can go make $10 to $15 to $20 thousand more and that’s a battle that we constantly fight,” said Palmer. “We have made leaps and bounds and will continue to fight and strive to get the officers what they need.”

    Palmer stated that two new officers have recently come out of FTO and are on their own now.

    Palmer also mentioned the hiring of a new dispatcher and a new canine officer, Officer Fraley. Fraley has a canine named Peggy who will help with narcotics and search and rescue missions.

    Palmer switched gears to discuss upcoming announcements the police department will be involved in such as road closures, Maysville Players Uncorked, the Fourth of July parade and helping to host the Oktoberfest 5k.

    He also mentioned the honor guard is in the works to colors at a Cincinnati Reds game. Nothing is formalized but the hope is that on June 21, the police department will be present at the Reds vs. the Boston Red Sox game.

    Big projects that are being worked on presently revolve heavily around mental health issues, Palmer said.

    Mason County is one of seven counties that are getting a CCCR grant to assist officers in doing a better job. The grant will allow the police department to hire a police social worker.

    This worker will assist in high-stress situations where mental health could potentially be affected such as suicidal situations, homeless individual assistance, situations revolving around addicts and situations involving folks with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

    Palmer said 15 officers have been through crisis intervention training since the announcement of the CCCR grant.

    Benefits of this grant should be less time on repeat calls, lessening the feelings of intimidation when calling the police, reduction in ER visits and arrests and the ability to better support the community where mental health is concerned.

    Social workers will keep tabs on individuals who have previously called the police for similar situations multiple times, which will help keep the police presence lower and hopefully help the individuals work toward solving their issues, Palmer said.

    Oftentimes individuals feel uncomfortable when having to call officers and may even be afraid to do so. These social workers will lessen those feelings of intimidation by arriving in a regular dress instead of uniform, he added.

    In regards to the reduction of emergency room visits, Palmer said they have learned the hard way that you cannot arrest away narcotics and addiction problems.

    The hope is these social workers will be able to better support individuals and family members affected by such issues, Palmer said.

    He also mentioned that the police department has a good Chaplain society. Chaplains debrief officers to make sure officers are okay after stressful situations have occurred.

    “Maysville is a great community, but folks, we have some foolishness that goes on and these guys have to be trained, they have to be confident and they have to be able to make that split decision in a matter of seconds,” said Palmer.

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