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Bardstown Police’s new narcotics unit already busy fighting drug trafficking

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 — Bardstown Police Chief Kim Kraeszig has achieved her goal of establishing a narcotics task force within the Bardstown Police Department.

POLICE CHIEF KIM KRAESZIG

Kraeszig said she and her officers are seeing evidence of greater levels of opioid and fentanyl abuse, from gas station bathrooms to the public parks.

“This is something we have to address,” she told the council.

The city police department has paid to have one detective serve with the Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force that covers investigations in seven counties. Kraeszig said she would like to have three detectives working solely within Nelson County to focus on the narcotics problems here at home.

Kraeszig noted that as the agreement between the task force and police department is written, the city police department receives none of the cash or property forfeitures that result from drug cases. All of those forfeitures to the task force.

Kraeszig said she questioned why the agreement didn’t share seizures with participating agencies like the Bardstown Police Department.

“I was quickly shut down at the board meeting,” she said. “Everyone else was fine with it, and that’s how it is and how its going to stay.”

But those forfeited funds can be used to buy equipment for your officers, she told the council. She said that 85 percent of forfeited funds in state drug cases are returned to the police agency. If the city had its own narcotics unit, a large number of forfeited funds would return to the Bardstown Police Department.

The department has withdrawn from the Hardin County narcotics task force. “We’re up and running already,” she said of the department’s drug enforcement efforts, with a three-member drug unit already working cases.

Kraeszig has experience in narcotics operations, as do others in the department. “I think we can handle running our own unit,” she told the council. “It will be very beneficial and its very needed in our community.”

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