Law enforcement fund audit reveals excessive spending

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Graphic Courtesy: MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on a state audit of the Department of Criminal Justice Training and the public fund that supports it (all times local):

10 a.m.

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State Auditor Mike Harmon says a review of the Department of Criminal Justice Training and the public fund that supports it has revealed unnecessary and excessive spending along with improper contracts with a public university designed to circumvent state law.

The department provides training to law enforcement officers throughout the state. It is paid for by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund, which is comprised of a 1.8 percent assessment on property and casualty insurance premiums.

Harmon said the assessment was set too high, which led to surpluses in the fund that were used for purposes other than law enforcement needs. He also said the department used a contract with Eastern Kentucky University to get around state procurement laws.

In its official response, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley blamed the prior administration.

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1 a.m.

Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon has finished an audit of the Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund.

The fund is comprised of an assessment on property and casualty insurance policies and is used to give incentive pay for police officers to complete their mandatory training. The state legislature recently increased the annual incentive pay to $4,000 per officer per year.

The fund often has more money in it that is necessary to pay the officers, and lawmakers have used the money for other things. Lawmakers have used as much as $21.5 million from the fund to help balance the state budget.

Harmon is scheduled to release the audit’s results at 10 a.m. Thursday. Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley and Republican state Rep. Denny Butler are slated to join him.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.