Last Tuesday, Matt Bevin sent the following letter to all Kentucky State Police Troopers. Reprinted here with permission.
October 27, 2015
Dear Trooper and Family,
First, allow me to begin by saying Thank You for your service to the Commonwealth! Please accept my sincerest expression of gratitude for the excellent job you and all Troopers do each day to protect our citizens and visitors.
This correspondence is being sent to you to not only thank you for your service, but to assure you of my commitment to you and the Kentucky State Police as a whole.
As a candidate for Governor in this year’s election, I have had the privilege to meet with and speak to many of our troopers as I travel around the state. During this past year, as I have learned more about KSP, its mission, and its needs, I have become concerned about three issues.
First, your pay is far below what you deserve for the job you perform. At $5,000 below the average of the seven surrounding states and ranking at 24th in the state compared to local police agencies, this is unacceptable.
Second, the manpower levels are far below what is adequately needed to deliver the service for our citizens and visitors. I believe that the current level of 871 Troopers is insufficient given the expansive road network and population increases our state has experienced.
Lastly, we must address the retirement system funding crisis. I am the only candidate to offer a solution that will deliver on the promises that we have made to our current and retired troopers.
Let me be clear, if elected Governor, I will ensure that public safety is a priority as a primary government function. KSP is the leader of that mission. It is my pledge to you to work diligently with the General Assembly to raise the pay of all Troopers and to increase the authorized strength levels to numbers sufficient for safety and to provide timely service.
I also pledge to work with the Kentucky Retirement System and the Legislature to stabilize your retirement account for the financial security of you and your families.
As we near Election Day in a race that is extremely close, you will likely hear many rumors and gossip about my stance on a variety of issues. Please don’t be fooled. We have attempted to address each deceitful accusation and claim with facts and information which sheds light on each lie.
You can learn the facts at mattbevin.com/truth.
The admiration I hold for you and the members of the KSP is why I am sharing my plans and commitment to you in this letter. As an active duty veteran of the U.S. Army, I know firsthand what it means to wear a uniform in defense of others. I personally understand the character of those who choose to wear a uniform in service to our Commonwealth and nation.
As Kentucky’s next Governor, I will fight to make sure the Kentucky State Police continues to be a model for others to emulate. We will maintain our standing among all police agencies across America as being the best — the “Thin Gray Line”.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and gratitude with you and your family. I would be honored to have your vote on November 3rd.
Let freedom ring,
GOP Nominee for Kentucky Governor
Anyone wanting to express his/her right of free speech by using his/her body as a canvas should be a model. Not a trooper.
Tattoos are unprofessional.
That is old thinking, IMO. I don’t have any tattoos and not likely to get any. And it’s true that in the corporate world, it’s still taboo. But in every other world, thinking you know something about a person because of their tattoos is just so yesterday :)
I personally think KSP is losing some great potential recruits to other departments that allow tattoos to be covered by long sleeve year around. The KSP recruiter at Ft. Campbell had to turn away 80 percent of the soldiers at the job fair over tattoos. I think KSP will need to adapt to a new generation of fine young men and women.
Disallowing visible tattoos is an infringement on self-expression. Maybe they express their First Amendment rights through art? Maybe their skin is their canvas? Who would be the “tattoo police?” Really? I would venture to guess that the visible tattoos would be examined at the beginning stages of the process, and that’s also where a warning can be given that any new tattoos can not be insensitive to minorities and the like. Times have changed — everyone is expressing themselves with ink. my wife is a nurse, and she has several visible tattoos. Professionalism comes from the inside, not what is on your skin. That’s like saying a burn victim can’t wear the uniform because he wouldn’t look professional. Give me a break.
I was a Trooper for 22 years. I have no problem with tattoos but when you serve the people of Kentucky they expect professionaism. Whether you agree or disagree tattoos do not project professionalism. If they allow tattoos where does it stop ? What if you have tatoos that are offensive to others, white supremacist, swastikas,marajuana leaf tattoos,neck ? face ?,ect…….William Matthew Reynolds, wouldn’t that also be descrimination ? Who is going to be the tattoo police. Law suits would be abundant. Best thing is to ban all. P.S. I have tattoos but they can all be covered.
How does Matt stand concerning Teacher Retirement?
He is committed to meeting the teachers’ pension obligations. Here’s a letter to Kentucky teachers:
And his answers to the KAPE questionnaire:
Sounds good! How are you going to pay for it?
We’ll start with the $400,000,000 plus being saved by closing Kynect (which is basically the website) and transitioning people over to the federal exchange. Nobody loses any Ocare benefits and KY saves hundreds of millions of dollars.
The only issue I have with ksp. Is the tatto rules. I have several on myself and that has prohibited me from becoming any kind of law enforcement which to me is a form of prejudice I’m very good shape workout several days a week been upstanding sitizen I hear all the time how they need more men but act like tattoos make someone a bad person. Which is just stereotypes. And false They are passing over great men to protect and serve
That does seem a little “old school” thinking. Sorry to hear it — they do need good men on the force. Could you write a letter to the editor? If a local newspaper won’t print it, I will.