Staffing woes force changes on police departments

Law enforcement agencies across western Kentucky are struggling with a declining number of officers and rising crime rates.

Sheriffs in the region say having fewer officers available is leaving departments shorthanded for emergencies, causing scheduling issues and delaying response times to calls.

McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden told The Paducah Sun ( ) his department should have 178 deputies to account for the 65,000 people in the county. But, the department has 39, including Hayden.

Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars says his department is examining crime and crash data, then assigning officers to the area most in need at peak times to make up for a lack of deputies.

Graves County Deputy Sheriff Davant Ramage says, like many agencies, there's little or no money to bring on more staff.

Information from: The Paducah Sun,

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