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The Voice recently sat down with Sheriff-elect David Sampson, to discuss his plans as the incoming sheriff of McCreary County. Sheriff-elect Sampson will take office on January 3, 2022.
- What is your background in law enforcement?
“I began law enforcement when I was 21 years old. I retired as a KY State Park Ranger in 2007 and accepted the position of detective under the Skinner administration. I was detective until 2015 when I accepted a job as a School Resource Officer. Now, I’m Sheriff-elect!”
- There have been a lot of questions in the community about what the Sheriff’s office will be like under your leadership. One question many ask is: “Will you have deputies on duty at night? Will you have officers on duty 24/7?”
“We absolutely will have 24/7 patrol/coverage on the roads.
- Will your office work with EMS when they are called out for medical runs in situations that are potentially dangerous?
“We are absolutely going to accompany EMS when it is needed. Under my administration, I want the sheriff’s office to work with all departments. I plan to work with all departments if they will work with me.”
- With less than a month before you take office, how many deputies do you plan to have? How many staff? Who? What will they do?
“As of right now, only one deputy has reached out to say he wants to continue employment. I do have qualified and experienced candidates who are excited for the opportunity to work in protecting our county, but I need to clarify some things before I can make a definitive statement. Regardless, the sheriff’s office will be enforcing laws and serving our community with respect, professionalism, and transparency.
- In the first year of your term, how will you cover the requirements for sending deputies for their training at the Academy and still having enough deputies here at home for law enforcement?
“In the first year of my term, I will cover the requirements for providing coverage by utilizing my certified deputies and myself.”
- What type of Sheriff do you want to be? As in, do you want to be one who is in the office and at a desk or on patrol?
“I know a Sheriff has office duties to fulfill, and I will do those. However, my goal is to be the type of sheriff who people recognize and say, “I see him out day and night.”
- What big plans do you have? New projects?
“I plan to insist on a professional department. I need deputies who demonstrate respect for all citizens, enforce the law consistently, and are transparent and open with the citizens. I plan to have town hall meetings with the citizens so they can express concerns they have about their communities.”
- What do you see as the most pressing law enforcement issues in McCreary County?
“Of course, the drug problem is number one. I want to collaborate with different agencies such as social services, parole & probation, Operation Unite, KSP, Drug Task Force, etc. to form a preventive drug task force. Prevention is key. I want to reach out to the schools. The SROs can be a big asset there. I’d like to see them do monthly seminars with students. It’s important to work with students when they are young so they have a positive relationship with law enforcement. Abuse of authority is my second big concern. I will not tolerate my staff abusing their authority. If investigation deems it warranted, any of my staff who abuse their authority will be disciplined. I’ve also had so many calls about cold cases. I plan to look into some of these and do what I can to bring closure for the families.”
- There seems to be an increasing number of “street” homeless in McCreary County. How will your department deal with those individuals?
“I would like to see us form something, like maybe some type of group, to reach out and help. My department will be active in connecting homeless people with services that are available.”
- Do you plan to involve and cooperate with outside agencies?
“Absolutely. There are so many such as the drug task force, KSP, etc. Early on, I want to meet with all of the other agencies to see how we can work together and help each other.”
- Do you have any closing comments?
“I’m looking forward to a good term as sheriff. When I leave, in four or maybe eight years, I plan to leave the office in a way that is respected. I’m excited and a little bit nervous. I’m not nervous about the job, but nervous, in an excited way, about seeing what I can get done for the citizens of McCreary County.”