SHEPHERDSVILLE - When Michael Mann has a case to present in Bullitt Circuit Court, he has no concerns when it is prepared and investigated by the Shepherdsville Police Department.
As commonwealth’s attorney, Mann is charged with prosecuting the most serious crimes in Bullitt County.
It is important that cases are properly investigated by police agencies.
“I’ve seen this police department grow,” said Mann, a long-time prosecutor. “The cases done by Shepherdsville are researched, documented and presented well.”
Mann was one of several individuals who spoke on behalf of the Shepherdsville Police Department.
With the city in a severe financial crisis, talk of deep cuts in the police department resulted in several supporters to come forward to speak to city council members.
“You have hard decisions to make,” admitted Mann. “When cuts are made, do everything possible to maintain the current police funding.”
Over the years, Mann said he has watched the city’s police department grow and mature into one of the best in the region.
While cuts might be needed, Mann said he felt the top priority of any government agency is to protect the public.
If the police department is cut, Mann feared that would be the public in more danger.
Monica Meredith Robinson, who is the county attorney, said she police officers are needed on the street.
To help cut some of the city’s overtime expense for officers due to court appearances, Robinson said she is trying a different approach.
With setting a two-week period before a trial to make a plea, Robinson hopes that officers won’t be called to court when it is not needed. With less court time, they are allowed to be out on the streets patrolling.
County judge Melanie Roberts voiced her support for all emergency personnel. She agreed with Mann that public safety should be the top priority of government.
Tim Wade, a Shepherdsville police officer and also president of its Fraternal Order of Police, said he hoped the council would not make any major cuts to the department.
He pointed to Bardstown with having about the same number of officers but without the special challenges Shepherdsville must face - along Interstate 65 and close of Louisville.
“I think you’ll make the right decision,” said Wade. “Keep in mind the public safety people expect and make that a high priority.”
Mayor Scott Ellis said work is being done on the budget and most departments will face cuts.
“I know that public safety is important,” said Ellis. “But we also a have a major financial issues.”
In the last fiscal year, the police department spent over $500,000 more than was budgeted. Ellis said attrition has helped to save some money but more cuts would be needed.
Ellis appreciated the support from the community for the police.
“We know we have a very good police department,” said Ellis. “And we have a good public works department and a good fire department. And our front office is very good, too.”
The next meeting of the Shepherdsville City Council will be on Monday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.