GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Members of the Georgetown community packed a city council meeting to express their disappointment and confusion after the city’s new mayor fired their longtime police chief.
Mayor Burney Jenkins, during his first week on the job, fired police chief Mike Bosse.
During the heated meeting, a woman who spoke said the decision broke her heart because Bosse “was a good man.”
A number of police officers attended the meetings. Two members of the department spoke.
“Serving under Chief Bosse for the past 10 years I tell you it has been out of the greatest amount of respect. He’s been a chief who’s led by example by day one.”
They explained Bosse took the department from a troubled one to one that is a model for other departments, who consider Georgetown Police “the gold standard.”
One man said the amount of officers who were at the meeting showed that the department was not broken.
“You are wrong for firing the police chief who has done so much for our community,” said Morgan Sullivan. ``We were going up and now were going down like Lexington. We want our chief back now!”
“I don’t know what happened but he was perfect for Georgetown,” Celeste Crowley said. “I’m sad to see him gone.
Mayor Jenkins told LEX 18 on Friday that he wanted the department to go in a new direction, but didn’t specify what that direction was.
During the meeting Monday he responded to individual questions and comments from the public by saying he would issue a statement addressing concerns when the public comment had completed.
“I’ve heard what you’ve all said and we’ll take in advisement,” Jenkins said. “I am steadfast in my commitment to the officers of the Georgetown Police Department.” He added they would continue to offer a competitive wage in an effort to both attract and retain officers.
The pre-written statement Jenkins read from did not offer any explanation for why Bosse was fired. It did include a message about the future. The search for the next police chief will only include candidates from inside the department.
Some members of the public were left visibly frustrated by the lack of details.
Shedding light on the mayor’s thinking, a former council member who spoke during public comment said it was apparent from his discussions with the mayor that the mayor would like more local, homegrown control of the police department.
Two members of the public defended the mayor during public comment. One said the current department is not perfect, explaining some officers are disrespectful.
In total, public comment lasted about an hour and a half. Currently serving as the department’s interim chief is assistant chief Darin Allgood.