Kentucky State Police

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Kentucky State Police
Abbreviation KSP
Kentucky State Police patch.jpg
Patch of the Kentucky State Police
Agency overview
Formed 1948
Preceding agency Kentucky Highway Patrol
Employees 1,713 (as of 2004)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA
KY - State Police Posts.png
Kentucky State Police Post map
Size 40,434 square miles (104,720 km2)
Population 4,241,474 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Troopers 1,100 (as of 1 July 2015)[1]
Civilians 777 (as of 2004)[1]
Agency executive Colonel Rodney Brewer, Commissioner
Parent agency Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Special Units Special Operations
West and East Drug Enforcement
Cannabis Suppression
Aircraft Support
Vehicle Investigations
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
Posts 16
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

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 officers are called and addressed as State Troopers and its nickname is The Thin Gray Line.[3]


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, and Kentucky State Police troopers were trained by the PSP, just like North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers. The force was an outgrowth of the Kentucky Highway Patrol, and inherited the equipment and officers from that organization.[4] Guthrie F. Crowe served as the force's first commissioner.[5]


Kentucky State Police troopers operate from 16 regional posts:[6]

West Troop

East Troop

The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement operates from 6 regional offices:[7]

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


Uniforms of the KSP[edit]

Cadets and road troopers wear the standard French gray KSP uniform, consisting of a short sleeve and long sleeve Flying Cross by Fecheimer button down shirt, charcoal gray trousers with a 1" black stripe down the side, and patent leather chukka high top shoes. 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. Unlike other police forces, the KSP requires a tie with long sleeve shirts, and the tie is to be tucked into the uniform shirt. The Stetson 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 chord is light gray.


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

The CVPI currently serves as the primary KSP fleet vehicle. Due to Ford's discontinuation of the CVPI in 2011 and as the CVPI fleet is retired, the Caprice & the Charger will become the primary road and patrol fleet vehicle for troopers. The KSP Division of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement will switch to Chevrolet Tahoes, Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SSV's, and Chevrolet Caprice PPV's as they retire their CVPI's . The KSP Facilities Security Branch will replace their CVPI's with Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptors.


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 on Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort. Cadets training to become troopers undergo a 23-week, paramilitary-style training program.[8] Sworn Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers undergo a 26-week training program at the KSP Academy that includes specialized training on commercial vehicle compliance and highway safety.[9] 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.[10] KSP telecommunicators (dispatchers) must complete a five-week training program at the KSP Academy.[11]

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.[3]

On July 14, 2008, the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement department, which is responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement, became an operational division of the KSP.[12]

The department also operates Trooper Island Camp, a juvenile crime prevention program at Dale Hollow Lake State Park.[5]


  • 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
    • 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: 87%
  • Female: 13%
  • White: 96%
  • African-American/Black: 3%
  • Asian: 1%

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Kentucky State Police, 27 troopers and 1 commercial vehicle enforcement officer (who was killed prior to CVE's merger with KSP) have died in the line of duty. In addition, 6 Kentucky Highway Patrol officers died in the line of duty prior to the establishment of the KSP.[14]

Officer Date of Death Details
James Powell Hays+
Saturday, December 21, 1935
Robert Rowland+
Sunday, December 22, 1935
Vernon C. Snellen+
Saturday, February 20, 1937
Automobile accident
Mose Hurt Littrell+
Monday, March 14, 1938
Houston Greene+
Thursday, May 18, 1944
Vadas G. Richardson+
Saturday, October 7, 1944
Harold J. Toll
Sunday, November 14, 1948
Robert Ranaker Miller
Wednesday, February 14, 1951
Automobile accident
Lee Trebu Huffman
Tuesday, May 19, 1953
Struck by vehicle
Herbert C. Bush
Saturday, October 11, 1958
Automobile accident
William Everett Tevis
Saturday, May 26, 1963
Cecil Walter Uzzle
Thursday, May 28, 1964
Automobile accident
Elmer Mobley, Jr.
Thursday, May 28, 1964
Automobile accident
Delano G. Powell
Tuesday, July 8, 1965
Mack Edward Brady
Wednesday, November 9, 1966
Automobile accident
William Harrel Barrett
Sunday, December 19, 1971
James Willard McNeely
Saturday, April 8, 1972
Walter Orville Thurtell
Friday, September 29, 1972
Automobile accident
Joe Ward, Jr.
Monday, April 23, 1973
Struck by vehicle
William Carter Smith
Thursday, April 26, 1973
John Wayne Hutchinson
Wednesday, June 4, 1975
Bobby Allen McCoun, Jr.
Sunday, September 1, 1975
Gunfire (Accidental)
William Francis Pickard
Wednesday, January 21, 1976
Willis Durwood Martin
Tuesday, April 26, 1977
Vehicular assault
Clinton Eugene "Clint" Cunningham
Sunday, February 11, 1979
Edward Ray Harris
Wednesday, November 7, 1979
Jerome Scott Clifton
Wednesday, October 1, 1980
Darrell Vendl Phelps
Friday, August 2, 1981
Johnny Montague Edrington
Wednesday, December 21, 1988
Johnny Gordon Adkins
Friday, November 24, 1995
Heart attack
Jason Wayne Cammack++
Sunday, April 23, 2000
Automobile accident
Jonathan Kyle Leonard
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Automobile accident
Eric K. Chrisman
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Automobile accident
Joseph Cameron Ponder
Sunday, September 13, 2015

+ indicates an officer with the Kentucky Highway Patrol
++ indicates a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c USDOJ Statistics
  2. ^ 2007 Population Estimates
  3. ^ a b "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved July 19, 2007. 
  4. ^ "History of the Kentucky State Police". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved February 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Kentucky State Police Posts". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved February 1, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Kentucky State Police CVE Region Locations". Kentucky State Police. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kentucky State Police Academy
  9. ^ Recruits report to Kentucky State Police Academy
  10. ^ Kentucky State Police Facilities Security Branch
  11. ^ Kentucky State Police Telecommunications Academy Graduates Fourth Class
  12. ^ "Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement to become a division of KSP". Office of Communications of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ [1]

External links[edit]