Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

May 14, 2014

Hope Harbor honors law officers

GLASGOW — Nearly 100 people gathered at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Bowling Green on Wednesday afternoon to honor law enforcement officers within the Barren River Area Development District for their work with domestic assault and abuse crime cases.

Hope Harbor, a non-profit crisis counseling center based in Bowling Green, provides services for victims of sexual assault. For the past two years, they have sought to commend law enforcement officers for protecting and serving their communities with 10-Star Awards and one Lighthouse Award during a recognition luncheon.

This year, 15 officers received the 10-Star Award and one officer received the Lighthouse Award.

“We just wanted to build up this idea of getting everybody to think outside the box,” Executive Director of Hope Harbor Melissa Whitley said. “Many times I think it’s hard for a lot of us to go back and think about why we do the things we do in our communities. I think it’s because all of the important work that many people in this room do, to help those who were in vulnerable situations and to serve the community to make it a safer place for all of us.”

Whitley said, at Hope Harbor, they understand the important of community partnerships, and that her organization could not do the work to provide for victims as they do without the aid of law enforcement officers.

“Whether you are a referral source, or you’re working on the investigation, or you’re the hand-holder at the hospital, or you’ve been a medical professional that’s there,” Whitley said. “We could not do the work that we do.”

Lt. Art McFadden of the Franklin Police Department took home this year’s Lighthouse Award.

“I cannot do my job without all of the support services that are in this room. I’m just the police; I need all these people,” McFadden said. “Let’s face it, I’m just a big, ugly, bald guy from New Jersey. Sometimes I need a female social worker sitting next to me to calm a child down, especially children of sexual abuse cases.”

McFadden added that next year he is retiring, and that this aspect of his job is what he is the most proud.

“Just being the police is only a small part of what we do with kids,” McFadden said. “We follow with parents to make sure their kids are doing well. We make sure they are getting therapy, we set them up with the resources to help them along the way. Is that in our job description? No. But as human beings, it’s something that I am very proud to be a part of.”

Glasgow Police Chief Guy Turcotte was nominated for a 10-Star Award by Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. Executive Director Lee Alcott.

BRASS, a regional domestic violence shelter program, was founded in 1980 and serves residents within BRADD.

“Chief Turcotte is such an accessible chief,” Alcott said. “To have a chief take the reins and create position changes within the community is truly something to be honored.”

Alcott noted in her letter of recommendation for his award that Turcotte had set up a ‘Chief’s Coffee Corner,’ in April that occurs on the first Wednesday of every month. This event gives the citizens of Glasgow the opportunity to show up to discuss concerns and ways to make the community a safer environment.

“I think everything he has done is worth recognition,” Alcott said. “He makes himself available, not just with our agency, but with everyone in the community. He’s forward-thinking, a team player and always coming up with ways to make things better for victims of these sensitive crimes.”

Alcott also added in her letter that Turcotte has a strong focus on crime victims and crime victims’ rights. He has demonstrated commitment to crime victims through the support of domestic violence services in Glasgow, attendance of events that have focused on issues of domestic violence, and agreed to review and certify a youth visa affidavit that acknowledged that undocumented victims of crime have cooperated with investigations.

Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Trautman also attended the event and said she was very proud of Turcotte.

“He’s such a good example of the hard-working efforts we strive for,” she said. “He’s a working chief, never just sitting at his desk. It’s unlike him to not be out in the community, working with the citizens of Glasgow.”

Turcotte said he didn’t know about his nomination until a few days ago.

He added that he has an “open door policy” at GPD, saying that if anyone at anytime wishes to voice a concern, they should always feel free to approach him or anyone in his department.

“I appreciate the mayor and city council for supporting me in all the work that I do,” he said. “I accept this award for all the men and women at the Glasgow Police Department, who work professionally with compassion.”

 

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