Call to Order and Roll Call
The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Thursday, July 11, 2013, at 1:00 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Jimmy Higdon, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jimmy Higdon, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Perry B. Clark, Carroll Gibson, Ernie Harris, Christian McDaniel, Dennis Parrett, Albert Robinson, Kathy W. Stein, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Robert Benvenuti III, Regina Bunch, Denver Butler, Dwight D. Butler, Larry Clark, Tim Couch, Myron Dossett, David Floyd, Kenny Imes, Jimmie Lee, Donna Mayfield, David Meade, Terry Mills, Tim Moore, Rick G. Nelson, Tom Riner, Rita Smart, and Russell Webber.
Guests: Col. (Ret.) David Thompson, Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs (KCMA); J. Barry Brady, Marion County Jailer; Chief Gregg Bayer, Lexington Fire Department; Lt. Col. Rick Adkisson, Louisville Department; Steven P. Mitchell, Owensboro Fire Department; and Jeff Pohlman, Alexandria Fire Department.
Representative Pullin moved to adopt the June 13, 2013, meeting minutes. Representative Lee seconded the motion, and the minutes were adopted.
Force Reductions at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell
Col. (Ret.) David Thompson, Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the US Army force structure reorganization and its impact on Kentucky. The active army will cut 80,000 soldiers by 2017 which is a reduction of 15 percent of the force. This cut comes as a result of the US Budget Control Act 2011 and defense planning guidance issued in 2012. The impact will create a net loss of 320 military positions at Fort Campbell 3,300 military positions at Fort Knox. There will be no force structure reductions in the Army National Guard or Reserve. Sequestration driven cuts may reduce the Army end-strength by an additional 100,000 soldiers. Fort Knox remains an essential home to multiple units and force generating capabilities, and Fort Campbell remains an essential power projection platform and home to multiple strategic crisis response units and force generating capabilities. Col. Thompson discussed the KCMA’s strategic plan to include protecting and growing Kentucky Department of Defense installations, strengthening the defense-related economy in Kentucky, communicating strategically, and conducting inter-agency program support for a strong military in Kentucky. A copy of KCMA’s PowerPoint is filed with this official record.
In response to a question from Representative Lee, Col. Thompson stated that Fort Knox should be changed from a single to a joint installation to be better utilized.
In response to a question from Representative Moore, Col. Thompson said that sequestration has forced civilian workforce furloughs in the Army of 11 days off annually, making a 20 percent reduction in pay. Further furlough measures may be instituted.
Evidence Based Programming in Marion County Jail
J. Barry Brady, Marion County Jailer, gave an overview of the Marion County Detention Center (MCDC) and its evidence-based programming. MCDC has a capacity of 297 beds, including 80 pilot program beds and 128 substance abuse treatment beds. MCDC’s goals are to protect public safety, protect institutional safety, provide legal standard of care, provide programs intended to reduce the likelihood of re-incarceration, provide a sanitary and humane environment for both offenders and staff, ensure all employees are knowledgeable of baseline standards, and ensure all employees are trained to carry out duties in accordance to standards. In June of 2013, MCDC received a Community Corrections Grant that will be used to operate three pilot programs being offered to inmates who qualify according to classification: Moral Reconation Therapy, Inside Out Dads, and New Directions. Mr. Brady summarized each program and said that MCDC has had 53 graduates get their GED from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. In the Substance Abuse Treatment bed area, MCDC offers a Living in Balance Program (LIB). As of July 1, 2013, 370 clients have graduated from that program. The ALPHA Program is a six to nine month program designed for incarcerated individuals wanting to recover from their alcohol and drug addictions. As of July 1, 2013, 103 clients have graduated from that program.
In response to a question from Chair Higdon, Mr. Brady stated that statistics prove that prisoners are less likely to reoffend after enrolling in a jail’s programs.
In response to a question from Senator Clark, Mr. Brady stated that MCDC helps released inmates secure necessary papers and materials and helps them find employment through a directions class called Reentry. MCDC does not have a program yet to help inmates reinstate their voting rights. Mr. Brady stated that he could definitely see the importance of inmates restoring their voting rights upon their release.
Heavy Search and Rescue Demonstration
Chief Gregg Bayer, Battalion Chief, Lexington Fire Department, and Lt. Col. Rick Adkisson, Assistant Chief, Louisville Fire Department, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Kentucky Technical Search and Rescue Initiative. Mr. Bayer discussed finding and rescuing people affected by major widespread disaster using multi-discipline teams. Mr. Adkisson described the natural events as tornadoes, flooding, and earthquakes that could require heavy search and rescue methods. Mr. Bayer discussed weapons of mass destruction and ways the technical search and rescue teams can be of help without depleting a particular area’s rescue workers who may be dealing with widespread multiple needs.
Upon completion of the PowerPoint presentation, the committee recessed and moved to the demonstration area on the top parking lot behind the Capitol Annex. Demonstrations were made of the equipment used by the heavy search and rescue teams from Brodhead, Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky, and Owensboro Fire Departments. The demonstrations included rope rescue, shoring and trench rescue, flooding and swift water rescue, and breaching and breaking rescue.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.