Somerset Police Chief William Hunt may have been caught off guard at Monday’s City Council meeting, but in true police officer style, he still managed to be in command of the situation.
Hunt was presented the 2020 Police Chief of the Year award from the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.
Hunt said it was an honor, but that he was not accepting the award merely on his own behalf.
He accepted it on behalf of the members of the council and Mayor Alan Keck, thanking them for the support they showed his department.
He also made sure to thank the Somerset Police Department itself.
“And I’m not talking about the building. I’m not talking about the cars you see out there. I’m talking about the men and women who put the uniform on every day to serve this community and are willing to give everything they have for this community,” he said.
The award was presented to him by Shawn Butler, executive director for the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.
At the meeting, Butler read out some of the letter submitted by Mayor Keck to nominate Hunt.
“Chief Hunt is truly a servant leader who has propelled the Somerset Police Department to one of the best in the state,” Keck wrote. “Under his direction we’ve added several new provisions including school resource officers, narcotics officers, detectives and patrol officers. Chief Hunt has tirelessly advocated for departmental pay increases, as well as upgrades to equipment and vehicles. His implementation of community-oriented policing has been an amazing model for our community. He is incredibly active with our community events and present in arenas that many would want to avoid. His leadership is disarming and uniting, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Among Hunt’s other accomplishments, Butler said, was starting the Shepherds Watch Program, a community crime prevention program that allows police to partner with those who own security cameras. This allows law enforcement access, with permission, from the owners of the equipment.
The program acts as a database, letting officers know where to locate cameras that may have captured criminal activity.
Butler added that Hunt was able to help his department reach a full staffing level – difficult to do in Kentucky at this time, he said.
Hunt also helped initiate active shooter training that has been taught in more than 30 businesses and organizations, secure funds for new digital radios for officers and vehicles, and run the SPD all while serving as chair of the Lake Cumberland Drug Task Force, as a member of the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Executive Board for U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan, and as the second vice president for the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.
He also serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church, and is active in advocating for strong state legislation, Butler said. “I’ve worked with him on many issues in Frankfort.”
Then, Butler added, “Chief, I really am not sure, after reading that list, how you have time to do much of anything.”
In accepting the award, Hunt made sure to thank his family, especially his wife, Carla.
“I’m not home a lot, because I’m usually working. I think my wife may be glad sometimes I’m not home,” he joked, “but I think it makes it more precious when we are together.”