‘BACKUPPS’ program allows law enforcement to team up across city, county lines

It's a more effective, efficient war on crime

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A program that erases the imaginary lines between cities and counties to allow law enforcement agencies to work in other jurisdictions is being credited with a meth bust earlier this week in Central Kentucky.

The program, called BACKUPPS, is a more effective, efficient war on crime, an approach that began with the Georgetown Police Department in 2015.

“So, essentially it’s just come out of the dream to be more effective and be more efficient in our resources,” said Lieutenant Mitchell Lair.

The program stands for Bluegrass and Central Kentucky Unified Police Protection System. It’s an agreement that allows law enforcement agencies to work across jurisdictional boundaries. The program started with 26 agencies, but Lt. Lair says now 96 agencies across Central Kentucky are involved.

“People that commit crimes don’t stay in the same town or the same county, obviously as we’ve seen in recent things. So they travel all across the state, and all across the nation, but definitely all across the state we’re able to use these inter-local agreements to be able to go to other counties and essentially let them know that we’re here and we have that situation and our authority can go over into that,” said Lt. Lair.

Just one example: Tuesday, Georgetown Police and Nicholasville Police teamed up on a drug bust in Scott County. About 234 grams of meth was seized during the arrest.

It helps track down criminals in a more efficient way, through sharing information, personnel, and equipment.

“This allows us to be able to have that good communication back and forth and information sharing to be able to track those crimes and develop an organized response to make sure we’re adhering to the safety of the officers, safety of the public, and have a better, organized response to benefit.” said Lt. Lair.

However, it’s not just a way to track down suspects: the program also helped with Western Kentucky tornado relief.

“When those first few moments happen, it’s chaos, right? Trying to be like ‘who’s in charge?’ But when you have a pre-planned plan, it makes those first few hours of that critical incident much easier and we can get the public back to a normal state,” said Lt. Lair.

In an age where everything moves quickly, it helps law enforcement stay one step ahead.

“We’re always looking for ways to be more collaborative. The more collaborative we are, the better we serve our people. So absolutely it’s the future. It’s a progress to get there,” said Lt. Lair.

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