The numbers favor Trigg County compared to Todd County, with seven officers in Elkton for 2,000 residents, or a one to 286 ration. Guthrie has 1,500 residents for four officers, or a one to 375 ratio. Trenton offers one part-time officer for a population of 425. The Todd County Standard extrapolated that to equal a ratio of one officer per 800 residents.
Rural Todd County offers a sheriff and one deputy for 8,525 residents, or one officer per 4,262 citizens.
Cadiz finds itself with a ratio superior to Hopkinsville. With 72 officers for 30,000 residents, their ratio of one officer to every 416 citizens falls short of Cadiz.
The Standard quoted Dr, Terry Cox of the Department of Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University, to say that law enforcement manpower is determined by a two officer to 1,000 people ratio.
Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark said, “I think I learned it was one officer to 1,000 people, but that was before crack and meth, so that may not be true any longer.”
Clark’s department has him and two deputies on the full-time payroll. A third deputy will complete his training on November 2. The department recently hired a fourth deputy, though Clark anticipates a three to six month delay before the new deputy can begin his 18-week academy training session.
“We’re obviously still understaffed compared to other agencies, but are not as bad as some appear,” said Clark. “The new Fiscal Court and Judge/Executive have made substantial steps to help us with issues as far as hiring additional manpower. Our goal for the long term is to have 24-hour, seven day coverage, meaning that someone is always on the road.”
Asked about the vast area of sparsely populated Trigg County he is tasked with patrolling, Clark said, “Sure area comes into play. Compare us with say, Oak Grove. It’s a smaller geographical size, but they border Clarksville and Fort Campbell. Hopkinsville is not too far to the north, so they have more activity than we see in all of Trigg County.”
Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander said, “I feel like this is a good study. Our numbers look about as good as anyone. I’m impressed because I didn’t realize we would be as good as anywhere else.”
Alexander said that the physical dimensions of Cadiz, the central town, with a long corridor to the shops at I-24 placed additional demands on his department.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.