Short staffed sheriff’s department needs neighbors help to stop crime


LEDBETTER, KY – A short-staffed sheriff’s department faces a rise in crime. Law enforcement are spread so thin, they need your help to keep your neighborhood safe.

“It’s tough. I won’t lie,” said Livingston County Sheriff Bobby Davidson. “It’s 342 square miles, and close to 10,000 people.” His sheriff’s department oversees the county that has no police departments. On top of that, there are only five deputies and a sheriff.

Davidson is seeing more car break-ins and even home break-ins in recent months in Ledbetter, Kentucky. He’s calling on the neighbors to be the eyes and ears of the sheriff’s department.

These seemingly quiet streets have been putting the sheriff’s department to work. Since Jan. 1, they’ve received 42 complaints of theft and burglary and 63 complaints of suspicious vehicles or people..

“To have 63 complaints is a double-edged sword,” said Marvin Dowdy, the coordinator for the local Neighborhood Watch. “It’s good and not good. It’s good to have that many people out there,” reporting what they see.

Dowdy leads the Neighborhood Watch program and lives in Ledbetter. “I live here. I have two dogs, a wife, and two kids. I want something done before something is too late to be done.”

Davidson said neighbors are the best defense they have. “The thing about a neighbor is you know who your neighbor is, you know what they drive,” said Davidson. “You take a deputy through a subdivision, and he doesn’t know that.”

When there are only a few homes on a street, neighbors can easily spot a suspicious car. Dowdy said if you see a suspicious car in your neighborhood, report it, but don’t call 911. Call him.

“If it’s not life threatening or something of that nature, they can give me a call. That way the sheriff’s department and dispatch isn’t bombarded,” Dowdy said. Another consequence of a short staffed department.

Davidson said he wants the people who live here to be the department’s eyes.  He said to make sure you get the license plate number and description of car. You could be the first eyes on the scene.

They are having a neighborhood watch meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Ledbetter Fire Station. Range America will be there to talk about concealed carry classes and the sheriff’s department will be raising money to install cameras in Ledbetter subdivisions.

You can find out more information about this story and others by following Leah Shields on Facebook and Twitter.

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