Ray Burnam started his term as the Trigg County Sheriff on Saturday, Jan. 1, replacing Randy K. Clark, who had been the sheriff for 25 years before that, and was the youngest sheriff in Kentucky when first elected.
Burnam said that he has been quite busy for the past five days, talking with people, some of whom wanted a job. On Monday, Burnam hired Roger White as a new full-time deputy, and he said Knight started his first patrol on Monday night.
Burnam told the Trigg County Fiscal Court on Monday that he wants a new patrol vehicle – the county typically purchases used vehicles – and four new full-time deputies as well as a full-time detective.
“Our cars have 160,000-plus miles, and if I’m coming for something really important … I think you want me in something that’ll get there,” said Burnam, who also noted that this will be the last year that the Ford Crown Victoria, long a staple of law enforcement agencies, will be produced.
Before the new year started, Burnam attended a sheriff’s in-service for incoming sheriffs in Bowling Green, a 40-hour in-service that lasted the entire week. Burnam also said that then-Sheriff Clark showed him around the office and the area.
“We’ve got some great deputies, and Clark just took me under his wing and showed me the ropes,” Burnam said.
During the campaign, Burnam talked the need for increased patrols and more deputies with which to perform those patrols.
The new sheriff, who also previously served as a trooper with the Kentucky State Police, said that while the law enforcement responsibilities are similar to those of a state trooper, as a sheriff he has more managerial tasks to perform.
“As a trooper, I had a post to fall back on, but as sheriff, the buck stops with me, so to speak,” Burnam said.
The new sheriff also asked the fiscal court to retire Sheriff Clark’s unit number to honor his 25 years of service as the sheriff. Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries said the court would consider that.
In the Tuesday, Nov. 3, general election, Burnam received 3,492 votes, to Clark’s 2,239 votes – 60.9 perent to 39.1 percent.
Randy Clark could not be reached for comment at press time.
“One door closes, another one opens, is what I’ve always been told,” Clark said shortly after the election was called the night of Nov. 3. “We’ll see what’s out there.”