In police chief search, UK should look to the current leader

Five weeks to go.

I’ve loved every day of this year, and my intentions are to make the final ones the best. Your Student Government Association isn’t going to stop working, and I will make sure our priorities stay intact.

One of mine is to help fill the open position of chief of UK Police Department.

I have had the pleasure of not only working with the interim chief, Maj. Joe Monroe, but I have also built a friendship with him.

When the long saga of finding a new chief began two years ago, Monroe was second in line to McDonald Vick, who served as the police chief for a short time. After Vick’s unpredictable departure, Monroe took over as the interim and has been extraordinary since the first day.

Monroe concentrates on relationships and the different needs and wants of the UK community.

Whenever I talk with members of campus organizations such as Dorothy Edwards, the director of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, I find nothing but complete satisfaction with Monroe’s efforts.

Monroe also demonstrates the traits of an ideal police chief: he listens, he is visible and he is very inclusive. I know for a fact that SGA has never had such strong relations with UK police as it does now, and that is because of Monroe’s willingness to lend a hand. His passion for his job is exciting for all students.

The UK police department’s relationship with Lexington police are at a peak as well. Through my duties, I have had dozens of conversations with police officers from both departments, and many times I have been told of the recent improvements of relations between the two. This is a huge win for UK.

UK police is more student friendly than ever and has put more effort into better informing students of their intentions. Not until recently have I ever seen police officers going door to door, talking with students and giving helpful hints about being good members of the Lexington community. These are great starting places and the growth must continue. It will under Monroe’s leadership.

Vice President for Public Safety Anthony Beatty is in the process of identifying a permanent chief of police, and I have voiced to him all of these opinions. With only two columns left, I knew it was important the campus knows how I feel as well. It would be a mistake if Monroe were not named permanent chief.

On Monday, the national bus tour, Project Vote Smart, came to campus. The group provided some great insight into the upcoming elections this year, and I am sure many students are much more informed because of it.

Mayor Jim Newberry and Vice Mayor Jim Gray joined us for a couple of hours last week, and we had an extremely successful forum. It was great to recap work from the year, set goals for the future and begin establishing relationships for next year’s SGA.

SGA’s main goal this year was to keep students informed. Events such as the bus tour and the mayors’ forum ensure just that!

I was very happy with the turnout of our SGA elections. I am proud to be president of the first SGA to offer online elections at UK, and with only one presidential candidate, 3,300 votes is very respectable. I commend the students for taking time to vote!

Today, I will have the opportunity to make some remarks at the grand opening of Subway in the Student Center. I am sad it’s opening as I leave but at the same time so proud we could get it here. Dining has come miles since I was a freshman, and from what I hear, there is another addition coming soon that I know students will love.

Pay attention to the Kernel for the time and location of our third district candidate debate. We are planning it right now and can’t wait to bring the community members to campus so we can hear from them how UK will influence their job and decision-making.

The transition has been occurring for some time, but now the jets are truly on. I look forward to setting President-elect Tyler Montell and Vice President-elect Grant Mills up as best as I can. I will spend a lot of my next column on what we are doing, but also check the SGA Web site (

Have a good couple of weeks, friends. Two days until Keeneland, oh boy!