Shepherdsville police chief back at work

Chief Doug Puckett
Chief Doug Puckett

SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Shepherdsville's top cop is back on the force and back at work. A judge gave Shepherdsville Police Chief Doug Puckett his job back after new mayor Scott Ellis fired him shortly after taking office.

Piles of paper waited for Puckett on his first day back at work Monday.

"A lot of reading, a lot of memos," Puckett said.

For a little more than five months, Puckett's office sat empty and the chief sat at home after Ellis fired him in January. It was one of Ellis' first official acts in office. At the time, Ellis said Puckett was politicking while on the job but a judge reinstated the chief saying he didn't get a job hearing within 60 days. Puckett now appears ready to let the past go.

"I'm looking forward to working with the new mayor, looking forward to working with the council and looking forward to getting back with the officers and continue the progress that we've made through all the years," Puckett said Monday.

In his absence, Puckett says little has changed, but moving forward, he expects to lead the Shepherdsville Police Department through some big challenges.

"We're going to be a lot fewer officers because of budget cuts," he said. "We're going to try to get by with 20 officers, what we used to do with 26, which is going to be a challenge."

Even with all the headaches, Puckett says he's glad to have his badge back and to continue on as Shepherdsville's Chief of Police.

"I love this job," he said. "I love the city. I love the citizens of the city."

Shepherdsville City Attorney Joe Wantland says the city does not plan to appeal the judge's ruling giving Chief Puckett his job back. However, he says the chief, like other department heads, will have to account for the overspending that put Shepherdsville in a budget hole.

Wantland says Puckett's department went about $1 million over budget in the past 18 months.

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