What New HPD Would Like To Do For City
Harrodsburg’s newest chief of police said he has “a strong desire to serve.” Tim Hurt was appointed the new chief of the Harrodsburg Police Department. Hurt, who joined the HPD as assistant chief in 2019, said he values the sense of community among Mercer residents. “They’ve been very welcoming,” Hurt said. “I’m really appreciative of the acceptance I’ve had since I’ve been assistant chief here.”
Hurt grew up in Franklin County. He is married to Karen Hurt, whom he calls “an Army brat.” Her father is a retired lieutenant colonel.
“Her dad had an influence on me joining the army,” Hurt said. The Hurts have three daughters and four grandchildren. Hurt said he will retire from the reserves with 30 years of service. He graduated from the Sergeants Major Academy in 2008 and was promoted to Command Sergeant Major in 2019. Hurt led a military police unit in Fort Meade, Maryland, from 2019 to 2021. He currently serves as an operations sergeant major in Houston Texas.
Hurt said he enjoys the camaraderie and the structure of military life.
“There is no greater organization in the world,” Hurt said. “They do a really good job taking care of their people. There are no Democrats or Republicans. No political involvement in day-to-day operations. You get promoted based on your merit, not who you know.”
In 1989, Hurt left active duty with the US Army and moved to Anderson County. He started his career in law enforcement that same year with Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, which is now a branch of the Kentucky State Police. Hurt worked there for 10 years as a patrolman. He also served a stint with special operations branch, which handled drug interdiction on the interstates. In 1999, Hurt joined the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training as an instructor at Eastern Kentucky University. After retiring from the state in 2008, Hurt accepted a job as a patrolman with the Shelbyville Police Department. In 2012, he joined the Simpsonville Police Department, where he was promoted to sergeant. In 2018, Hurt joined the Georgetown Police Department. In 2019, he applied for the position of assistant chief at the HPD.
What drew him to law enforcement?
“It looked like an interesting and exciting career,” said Hurt, who described himself as “a people person.” He said he likes the structure of law enforcement, which he called similar to the military.
“That was the main thing that attracted me to law enforcement,” Hurt said.
Hurt has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in public administration. He graduated from the equivalent of a sergeant’s academy at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training in 2014. In 2017, he graduated from the Criminal Justice Executive Development Program, a four-week, 168-hour program that focuses on identifying, analyzing, and solving problems as well as leadership, personnel administration, operations, fiscal management, and executive and environmental relationships.
Hurt said he would like to attend the FBI National Academy if the City of Harrodsburg gives him the opportunity. He called the HPD’s citizens academy, which teaches the public about law enforcement, rewarding for both the public and the department.
“It helps us educate the community on what we do,” Hurt said. “They gain a confidence and trust in us when they get to know us at a personal level.”
Hurt said he would like the department to become more involved with the community, which he said was essential to building trust with the public.
“They can provide us with important information, improve safety and solve criminal activity. There are just so many rewards to having a solid relationship with the community we serve,” Hurt said. “If we show that we are deserving of their support, we can call on them. They will gladly be in our corner and support us.”
Hurt said his main objective as chief is recruiting and retaining high quality officers.
“That would be up there as one of my top goals over the next three years,” said Hurt. “I’m going to have to do a better job of reaching out to folks to get the word out that we’re looking for these qualified people.”
Training is another big priority. The HPD already does a lot oin-housese training. Hurt’s goal is to increase in house training to make sure officers receive the most current information. Another goal is to lobby the Harrodsburg City Commission to secure hazardous duty pay.
“We’ve gone several years without hazardous duty. It’s a critical benefit,” said Hurt. He said the officers deserve to have “their families taken care of.”
His ultimate goal is to expand the HPD to 20 officers.
“There are other areas where we could provide more services if we had more officers,” Hurt said.
One area is investigations. The HPD only has one detective, who currently investigates every sort of crime.
“I would like to have another detective who would be a drug detective,” Hurt said. He said his officers do a good job trying to intercept the drugs coming into the community but they were limited in how much they can do.
“They don’t necessarily have the time we would like to invest in focusing on drug enforcement,” Hurt said. “We don’t have the manpower to focus on that.”
With an expanded department, Hurt would also be able to assign an officer to do nothing but work traffic. Many citizens express concerns about speeding, and drivers disobeying traffic control devices.
“I sympathize with them,” Hurt said. “We don’t have the manpower to patrol the neighborhoods and watch the stop signs and speeding. We can’t offer that service as often as I would like.”
Hurt said he wants to be more accessible to the community. He said he is actively looking for a residence in Harrodsburg. While he has no family in Mercer County, Hurt said he values the connections he’s made in the community.
“I feel like the community is my family now,” Hurt said.