Kentucky State Police
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Kentucky State Police
Kentucky State Police
Abbreviation KSP
Kentucky State Police patch.jpg
Patch of the Kentucky State Police
Motto The Thin Gray Line
Agency overview
Formed June 1, 1948
Preceding agency Kentucky Highway Patrol
Employees 1,713 (as of 2004)[1]
Annual budget $227 million[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Commonwealth (U.S. state) of Kentucky, USA
KY - State Police Posts.png
Kentucky State Police Post map
Size 40,434 square miles (104,720 km2)
Population 4,241,474 (2007 est.)[3]
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Troopers 866 (as of 11 August 2017)[4]
Civilians 777 (as of 2004)[1]
Agency executive Colonel Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner
Parent agency Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Special Units Special Operations
West and East Drug Enforcement
Critical Incident Response Team
Cannabis Suppression
Aircraft Support
Vehicle Investigations
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Posts 16
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is a department of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and the official State Police force of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, responsible for statewide law enforcement. The department was founded in 1948 and replaced the Kentucky Highway Patrol. The department's sworn personnel hold the title State Troopers and are addressed as Trooper (with the exception of sworn Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Facilities Security Branch personnel, both of which hold the title and are addressed as Officer) and its nickname is The Thin Gray Line.[6]


In 1948, the Kentucky General Assembly enacted the State Police Act, creating the Kentucky State Police and making Kentucky the 38th state to create a force whose jurisdiction extends throughout the given state. The act was signed July 1 of that year by Governor Earle C. Clements. The force was modeled after the Indiana State Police. The force was an outgrowth of the Kentucky Highway Patrol, and inherited the equipment and officers from that organization.[7] Guthrie F. Crowe served as the force's first commissioner.[8]


Kentucky State Police troopers operate from 16 regional posts:[9]

West Troop

East Troop

The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement operates from 6 regional offices:[10]

West Troop

East Troop

In addition, the Special Enforcement Troop includes the following branches:

  • Cannabis Suppression
  • West Drug Enforcement
  • East Drug Enforcement
  • Aircraft Support
  • Vehicle Investigations
  • Special Operations
  • Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)


Uniforms of the KSP

Troopers wear the standard French gray KSP uniform, consisting of a short sleeve and long sleeve version. Winter trousers are charcoal gray with a 1" black stripe down the side. Summer trousers are French gray with 1" black stripe. Patent leather chukka high top shoes are worn with both uniforms. The badge is worn on the left side of the shirt, with the Trooper's name plate directly below on the left breast pocket flap. Officers wear their rank insignia on the shirt collar while all other troopers wear their rank, if applicable, on their shirt sleeves. A white crew neck T-shirt is worn under the uniform shirt, per Kentucky uniform regulations. KSP requires a tie with long sleeve shirts, and the tie is to be tucked into the uniform shirt. The campaign hat is synonymous with troopers of the KSP. It is French gray in color, and troopers are issued two hats: straw for summer and felt for winter. A Kentucky State Police full color brass seal is worn on the front of the hat. The hat chord is light gray. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers uniforms are identical to that of Troopers except that the uniform and campaign hats are tan instead of French gray. Facilities Security Branch uniforms are also tan but have a special Facilities Security Branch shoulder patch instead of the standard KSP shoulder patch.


The Kentucky State Police use a variety of police cruisers and patrol vehicles. The current fleet consists of:

The Dodge Charger 5.7L AWD PPV currently serves as the primary KSP fleet vehicle. Due to Ford's discontinuation of the CVPI in 2011 KSP tested a series of vehicles to replace the CVPI between 2012 and 2013. These tests included the Chevy Caprice PPV, Ford Taurus, and Dodge Charger PPV. The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement currently utilize the Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor as they retire their fleet of CVPI's and Chevrolet Caprice PPV's. The KSP Facilities Security Branch will replace their CVPI's with Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptors.


In 2017 Troopers transitioned from the Glock Model 35 .40 S&W to the Glock Model 17 9mm as their primary sidearm. Prior to the Glock Model 35 troopers carried the 10mm Smith & Wesson Model 1076 (Model 1076 was used). [11][12]


The department's headquarters are located at 919 Versailles Road in Frankfort while its training academy is located in the former Frankfort Career Development Center at 380 Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort. Cadets training to become troopers undergo a 23-week, paramilitary-style training program.[13] Potential cadets who hold their Kentucky Peace Officers Professional Standards (POPS) certification and have two years of experience as a local, county or state (including Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers and Conservation Officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources) law enforcement officer in Kentucky are eligible to apply to become troopers through the department's Law Enforcement Accelerated Program (LEAP). Those accepted as LEAP cadets must meet all of the other requirements for acceptance into the KSP Academy and undergo an accelerated 12-week academy training class.[14] Sworn Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers undergo a 26-week training program at the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond that includes specialized training on commercial vehicle compliance and highway safety.[15] After graduation, probationary troopers & CVE officers must complete field training under the supervision of a training trooper/officer at their assigned post (troopers) or region (CVE officers). Officers with the KSP Facilities Security Branch must meet the requirements for and receive a Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO) commission under KRS 61.900-930 as well as undergo specialized training, including firearms training.[16] KSP telecommunicators (dispatchers) must complete a six-week training program at the KSP Academy.[17]

The KSP operates the state's system of regional crime labs. In addition, the KSP Facilities Security Branch, along with specially assigned state troopers, is responsible for protecting the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and state property, including the Kentucky State Capitol Complex.[6]

On July 14, 2008, the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement department, which is responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement, became an operational division of the KSP.[18]

The department also operates Trooper Island Camp, a juvenile crime prevention program at Dale Hollow Lake State Park.[8]

On February 15, 2017, Commissioner Rick Sanders announced the formation of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). Experienced KSP detectives from throughout the Commonwealth were chosen to investigate Officer Involved Shootings (OIS) as well as Critical Incidents that involved Police or Corrections agencies.[19]


  • Commissioner of the State Police
    • Executive Security Branch
    • Legal Office
    • Administration Division
      • Programs
        • Drivers Testing Branch
        • Facilities Security Branch
        • Financial and Grant Management Branch
        • Highway Safety Branch
        • Inspections and Evaluation Section
        • Legislative Security Branch
        • Media Relations Branch
        • Strategic Planning Branch
      • Internal Operations
        • Academy Branch
        • Human Resources Branch
        • Internal Affairs Branch
        • Properties Management and Supply Branch
        • Recruitment Branch
    • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division
      • West Troop
        • Region 1
        • Region 2
        • Region 3
      • East Troop
        • Region 4
        • Region 5
        • Region 6
    • Operations Division
      • West Troop
        • Post 1
        • Post 2
        • Post 3
        • Post 4
        • Post 5
        • Post 12
        • Post 15
        • Post 16
      • East Troop
        • Post 6
        • Post 7
        • Post 8
        • Post 9
        • Post 10
        • Post 11
        • Post 13
        • Post 14
      • Special Enforcement Troop
        • Cannabis Suppression
        • West Drug Enforcement
        • East Drug Enforcement
        • Aircraft Support
        • Vehicle Investigations
        • Special Operations
        • Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)
    • Technical Services Division
      • Forensic Division
      • Office of the Chief Information Officer
        • Communications and Computer Technologies Branch
        • Criminal Identification and Records Branch
        • Headquarters Communications Branch
        • Intelligence Branch



  • Male: 88%
  • Female: 31%
  • White: 96%
  • African-American/Black: 14%
  • Asian: 4%[20]

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the Kentucky State Police, 28 troopers and 1 commercial vehicle enforcement officer (who was killed prior to CVE's merger with KSP) have died while on duty. In addition, six Kentucky Highway Patrol officers died prior to the establishment of the KSP.[21]

Rank Name Date of Death Cause of Death Age Location
Trooper Harold J. Toll 11-14-1948 Killed in a car crash while en route to an assistance call 34 Anderson County, Kentucky
Trooper Robert Ranaker Miller 02-14-1951 Killed in a car crash while en route to an assistance call 23 Boone County, Kentucky
Trooper Lee Trebu Huffman 05-19-1953 Struck and killed after exiting his vehicle to render aid to car crash victims 27 Hardin County, Kentucky
Trooper Herbert C. Bush 10-11-1958 Killed in a car crash while chasing a suspect 27 Lincoln County, Kentucky
Trooper William Everett Tevis 05-26-1963 Shot and killed while off-duty and riding with another Trooper; they arrested a husband and wife, the wife then slipped her husband a pistol and he shot Tevis 26 N/A
Trooper Cecil Walter Uzzle 05-28-1964 Killed along with Trooper Elmer Mobley, Jr. when they hit large rocks in the roadway from a rockslide while en route to a call during heavy fog and rain 28 Pike County, Kentucky
Trooper Elmer Mobley, Jr. 05-28-1964 Killed along with Trooper Cecil Walter Uzzle when they hit large rocks in the roadway from a rockslide while en route to a call during heavy fog and rain 33 Pike County, Kentucky
Trooper Delano G. Powell 07-08-1965 Shot and killed after responding to a man shooting a shotgun at a residence; the man shot him as he got out of the car and wounded another Trooper and Breathitt County Deputy 28 Breathitt County, Kentucky
Trooper Mack Edward Brady 11-09-1966 Killed after being hit head-on by a car in his lane while en route to an assistance call 40 Henderson County, Kentucky
Trooper William Harrel Barrett 12-19-1971 Shot and killed by ambush after arriving at his house at the end of his shift 35 Morehead Trailer Park off Russellville Road in Rockfield, Kentucky
Trooper James Willard McNeely 04-08-1972 Killed along with Kentucky Water Patrol Officer David Childs while searching for 2 juveniles in a flood; they drowned after their boat went over a dam 37 Kentucky River in Frankfort, Kentucky
Trooper Walter Orville Thurtell 11-29-1972 Killed in a car crash while responding to an assistance call 42 Logan County, Kentucky
Trooper Joe Ward, Jr. 04-23-1973 Struck and killed by another car while working a crash scene during foggy conditions 25 Hopkins County, Kentucky
Lieutenant William Carter Smith 04-26-1973 Died from gunshot injuries sustained on 11-10-1972 while trying to arrest a murder suspect 45 Warren County, Kentucky
Trooper John Wayne Hutchinson 06-04-1975 Shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest 29 McCreary County, Kentucky
Trooper Bobby Allen McCoun, Jr. 11-01-1975 Accidentally shot and killed by a fellow Trooper 23 Pikeville City Jail
Trooper William Francis Pickard 01-21-1976 Shot and killed while serving a warrant with Hodgensville PD 26 LaRue County, Kentucky
Lieutenant Willis Durwood Martin 04-26-1977 Killed after his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver 44 N/A
Trooper Clinton Eugene "Clint" Cunningham 02-11-1979 Shot and killed by an ambush while investigating a burglary 29 Franklin County, Kentucky
Trooper Edward Ray Harris 11-07-1979 Shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest 29 LaRue County, Kentucky
Trooper Jerome Scott "Butch" Clifton 10-01-1980 Died from a gunshot wound to the leg sustained 2 weeks earlier on 11-19-1980 while saving hostages from a gunman 30 Pike County, Kentucky
Detective Darrell Vendl Phelps 08-07-1981 Shot and killed while he and another officer moved through a marijuana field 34 Edmondson County, Kentucky
Trooper Johnny Montague Edrington 12-21-1988 Shot and killed with his own pistol while on a traffic stop 34 On Highway 80, approx. 7 miles west of London, Kentucky
Trooper Johnny Gordon Adkins 11-24-1995 Suffered a heart attack while arresting a suspect on 11-21-1995; he went to a doctor for a checkup and was told he was healthy enough to work, but suffered a fatal one on 11-24-1995 while responding to a domestic disturbance call 37 N/A
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer Jason Wayne Cammack 04-23-2000 Killed in a single vehicle accident while crossing the interstate median and hitting a stone wall during a pursuit 26 On I-64 in Woodford County, Kentucky
Trooper Jonathan Kyle Leonard 12-19-2006 Killed in a car crash on U.S. 119 while responding to a domestic disturbance call 28 Pike County, Georgia
Trooper Anson Blake Tribby 01-22-2013 Killed after arriving on scene of a vehicle fire and rear-ending a tow truck 25 On I-64 near Winchester, Kentucky
Trooper Eric Keith Chrisman 06-23-2015 Killed while responding to a reckless driver call; he took a turn too fast and hit a tractor trailer head-on 23 On U.S. Route 64 near the Tennessee River Bridge in Livingston County
Sergeant David Ray Gibbs 08-07-2015 Killed when his car crossed the center line during the rain and hit a car head-on; he was en route to escort his grandmother's funeral 42 On Highway 210 near Buffalo, Kentucky
Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder 11-13-2015 Shot and killed after a 9 mile pursuit ended in a crash, the suspect got out and shot Ponder 31 On I-24 near Lamasco, Kentucky

See also


  1. ^ a b USDOJ Statistics Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved .  2007 Population Estimates
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved 2007. 
  7. ^ "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). "Kentucky State Police". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. 
  9. ^ "Kentucky State Police Posts". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved 2007. 
  10. ^ "Kentucky State Police CVE Region Locations". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Kentucky State Police Academy
  14. ^ Local Officers Begin Accelerated Class To Become State Troopers
  15. ^ Recruits report to Kentucky State Police Academy
  16. ^ Kentucky State Police Facilities Security Branch
  17. ^ Kentucky State Police Telecommunications Academy Graduates Fourth Class
  18. ^ "Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement to become a division of KSP". Office of Communications of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 2008. 
  19. ^ Morrison, Michael T. "Kentucky State Police: News Release". Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2006. Retrieved .  U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers
  21. ^ [2]


External links

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