Kentucky State Police

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Kentucky State Police
Patch of KSP
Patch of KSP
Flag of Kentucky
MottoThe Thin Gray Line
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1948
Preceding agency
Employees1,630 (as of 2017)[1]
Annual budget$227 million[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionKentucky, USA
KY - State Police Posts.png
Kentucky State Police Post map
Size40,434 square miles (104,720 km2)
Population4,241,474 (2007 est.)[3]
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Troopers866 (as of 11 August 2017)[4]
Civilian employees764 (as of 2014)[1]
Agency executive
  • Colonel Phillip Burnett, Jr., KSP Commissioner
Parent agencyKentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Special UnitsSpecial Operations
West and East Drug Enforcement
Critical Incident Response Team
Cannabis Suppression
Aircraft Support
Vehicle Investigations
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is a department of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and the official State Police force of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, responsible for statewide law enforcement. The department was founded in 1948 and replaced the Kentucky Highway Patrol. The department's sworn personnel hold the title State Trooper and are addressed as Trooper (with the exception of sworn Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Facilities Security Branch personnel, both of which hold the title and are addressed as Officer) and its nickname is The Thin Gray Line.[5]


In 1948, the Kentucky General Assembly enacted the State Police Act, creating the Kentucky State Police and making Kentucky the 38th state to create a force whose jurisdiction extends throughout the given state. The act was signed July 1 of that year by Governor Earle C. Clements. The force was modeled after the Pennsylvania State Police. The force was the successor agency to the Kentucky Highway Patrol, and inherited the equipment and officers from that organization. KSP is the premier law enforcement agency of Kentucky, having full jurisdiction in all 120 counties and all 33 independent cities. [6] Guthrie F. Crowe served as the force's first commissioner.[7]


Kentucky State Police troopers operate from 16 regional posts:[8] West Troop contains Posts 1,2,3,4,5,12,15 and 16. East Troop contains Posts 6,7,8,9,10,11,13 and 14. there is also Regional Offices of the KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. West Troop contains Regions 1,2 and 3. East Troop contains Regions 4,5 and 6. The Special Enforcement Troop contains Cannabis Suppression, West Drug Enforcement, East Drug Enforcement, Aircraft Support, Vehicle Investigations, Special Operations and the Critical Incident Response Team.

West Troop

East Troop

The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement operates from 6 regional offices:[9]

West Troop

East Troop

In addition, the Special Enforcement Troop includes the following branches:

  • Cannabis Suppression
  • West Drug Enforcement
  • East Drug Enforcement
  • Aircraft Support
  • Vehicle Investigations
  • Special Operations
  • Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)


Uniforms of the KSP[edit]

Troopers wear the standard French gray KSP uniform, consisting of a short sleeve and long sleeve version. Winter trousers are charcoal gray with a 1" black stripe down the side. Summer trousers are French gray with 1" black stripe. Patent leather chukka high top shoes are worn with both uniforms. The badge is worn on the left side of the shirt, with the Trooper's name plate directly below on the left breast pocket flap. Officers wear their rank insignia on the shirt collar while all other troopers wear their rank, if applicable, on their shirt sleeves. A white crew neck T-shirt is worn under the uniform shirt, per Kentucky uniform regulations. KSP requires a tie with long sleeve shirts, and the tie is to be tucked into the uniform shirt. The campaign hat is synonymous with troopers of the KSP. It is French gray in color, and troopers are issued two hats: straw for summer and felt for winter. A Kentucky State Police full color brass seal is worn on the front of the hat. The hat cord is light gray. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers uniforms are identical to that of Troopers except that the uniform and campaign hats are tan instead of French gray. Facilities Security Branch uniforms are also tan but have a special Facilities Security Branch shoulder patch instead of the standard KSP shoulder patch.


The Kentucky State Police use a variety of police cruisers and patrol vehicles. The current fleet consists of:

The Dodge Charger 5.7L AWD PPV currently serves as the primary KSP fleet vehicle. Due to Ford's discontinuation of the CVPI in 2011 KSP tested a series of vehicles to replace the CVPI between 2012 and 2013. These tests included the Chevy Caprice PPV, Ford Taurus, and Dodge Charger PPV. The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement currently utilize the Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor as they retire their fleet of CVPI's and Chevrolet Caprice PPV's. The KSP Facilities Security Branch will replace their CVPI's with Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptors.


In 2017 Troopers transitioned from the Glock Model 35 .40 S&W to the Glock Model 17 9mm as their primary sidearm. Prior to the Glock Model 35 troopers carried the 10mm Smith & Wesson Model 1076 (Model 1076 was used).[10][11]


The department's headquarters are located at 919 Versailles Road in Frankfort while its training academy is located in the former Frankfort Career Development Center at 380 Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort. Cadets training to become troopers undergo a 24-week, paramilitary-style training program.[12] Potential cadets who hold their Kentucky Peace Officers Professional Standards (POPS) certification and have two years of experience as a local, county or state (including Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers, Kentucky State Park Rangers and Conservation Officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources) law enforcement officer in Kentucky are eligible to apply to become troopers through the department's Law Enforcement Accelerated Program (LEAP). Those accepted as LEAP cadets must meet all of the other requirements for acceptance into the KSP Academy and undergo an accelerated 13-week academy training class.[13] Sworn Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers undergo an initial 18 weeks of basic law enforcement officer training at the Department of Criminal Justice Training Academy on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond unless they have already completed this training at an earlier date. This is followed by a four-week training program at the KSP Academy that provides specialized training on commercial vehicle compliance and highway safety.[14] After graduation, probationary troopers & CVE officers must complete field training under the supervision of a training trooper/officer at their assigned post (troopers) or region (CVE officers). Officers with the KSP Facilities Security Branch must meet the requirements for and receive a Special Law Enforcement Officer (SLEO) commission under KRS 61.900-930 as well as undergo specialized training, including firearms training.[15] KSP telecommunicators must complete a six-week training program at the KSP Academy.[16]

The KSP operates the state's system of regional crime labs. In addition, the KSP Facilities Security Branch, along with specially assigned state troopers, is responsible for protecting the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and state property, including the Kentucky State Capitol Complex.[5]

On July 14, 2008, the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement department, which is responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement, became an operational division of the KSP.[17]

The department also operates Trooper Island Camp, a juvenile crime prevention program at Dale Hollow Lake State Park.[7]

On February 15, 2017, then-Commissioner Rick Sanders announced the formation of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). Experienced KSP detectives from throughout the Commonwealth were chosen to investigate Officer Involved Shootings (OIS) as well as Critical Incidents that involved Police or Corrections agencies.[18]

Rank Structure[edit]

Title Insignia
Colonel - Commissioner
Colonel Silver.png
Lieutenant Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
KY - SP Sergeant.png
Trooper No Insignia


  • Commissioner of the State Police
    • Executive Security Branch
    • Legal Office
    • Administration Division
      • Programs
        • Drivers Testing Branch
        • Facilities Security Branch
        • Financial and Grant Management Branch
        • Highway Safety Branch
        • Inspections and Evaluation Section
        • Legislative Security Branch
        • Media Relations Branch
        • Strategic Planning Branch
      • Internal Operations
        • Academy Branch
        • Human Resources Branch
        • Internal Affairs Branch
        • Properties Management and Supply Branch
        • Recruitment Branch
    • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division
      • West Troop
        • Region 1
        • Region 2
        • Region 3
      • East Troop
        • Region 4
        • Region 5
        • Region 6
    • Operations Division
      • West Troop
        • Post 1
        • Post 2
        • Post 3
        • Post 4
        • Post 5
        • Post 12
        • Post 15
        • Post 16
      • East Troop
        • Post 6
        • Post 7
        • Post 8
        • Post 9
        • Post 10
        • Post 11
        • Post 13
        • Post 14
      • Special Enforcement Troop
        • Cannabis Suppression
        • West Drug Enforcement
        • East Drug Enforcement
        • Aircraft Support
        • Vehicle Investigations
        • Special Operations
        • Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)
    • Technical Services Division
      • Forensic Division
      • Office of the Chief Information Officer
        • Communications and Computer Technologies Branch
        • Criminal Identification and Records Branch
        • Headquarters Communications Branch
        • Intelligence Branch



  • Male: 69%
  • Female: 31%
  • White: 92%
  • African-American/Black: 4%
  • Asian: 4%[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b USDOJ Statistics Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) 2007 Population Estimates
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  6. ^ "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). "Kentucky State Police". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0.
  8. ^ "Kentucky State Police Posts". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  9. ^ "Kentucky State Police CVE Region Locations". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Kentucky State Police Academy
  13. ^ Local Officers Begin Accelerated Class To Become State Troopers
  14. ^ Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
  15. ^ Kentucky State Police Facilities Security Branch
  16. ^ Kentucky State Police Telecommunications Academy Graduates Fourth Class
  17. ^ "Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement to become a division of KSP". Office of Communications of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved July 20, 2008.
  18. ^ Morrison, Michael T. "Kentucky State Police: News Release". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2006. Retrieved April 11, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers


External links[edit]