DHS to pay for officer's overtime E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

In Kentucky there’s an interesting partnership underway between the Dept. of Homeland Security and the local police department. According to the local paper, the Times Tribune: “The Barbourville Police Department has “gone federal” — by request.” During a recent meeting of the Barbourville City Council, Barbourville Detective Steve Owens told city councilors that their department was “tapped” by the federal Office of Homeland Security.

Tapped in this case means “chosen” as opposed to indication some kind of electronic surveillance.

“Basically, Homeland Security came to the Barbourville Police Department requesting an officer to be a part of their task force,” Owens told reporters.

Council members then had to approve a resolution that included a “memorandum of understanding” that established the partnership between the BPD and Homeland Security.

Det. Owens said the deal would give the local/federal designated officer “federal investigative powers.” Owens explained that if the police department uncovers a crime that would lead to federal charges, that officer “would be able to assist.”

Owens told council members that part of the deal included a provision that the city would receive a portion of any monies or property seized during the course of an investigation that leads to federal charges and/or convictions.

“This would simply be for existing cases or new (cases) for the Barbourville Police Department that met federal criteria,” Owens added.

Police Chief Mike Broughton told council members he reviewed the request and loved it.

“I looked over this,” he said. “And it’s very positive — it’s a win-win for the city.”

Same goes for the city council.

“It seems real good for law enforcement to work with other agencies,” Council member Sherman Lawson said enthusiastically.

Council member Gary Williams asked the chief exactly how it “would be a win-win” type-deal for the small city.

“If a case originates within the city and it meets federal criteria for the Homeland Security designee, then if there’s any money seized during the investigation — it entitles the city to a portion of that money,” Broughton said.

Best of all, DHS is on the hook for paying the special officer’s overtime - but only up to $15,000.

Mayor David Thompson also thinks the deal is a win-win.

“We had a lot of meetings and discussion on this to make sure everything was all right,” Thompson said.

It's rather odd that we talk so much about overreach by the federal government but say little or nothing at all about DHS increasingly making its way into the day to day operations of local law enforcement.

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