New details emerging about ex-LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts

Published: Apr. 18, 2017 at 7:40 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2017 at 7:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News has learned new details about one of the police officers involved in the LMPD Youth Explorer scandal.

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Leaders in the city of Rolling Hills are meeting Tuesday night to discuss Kenneth Betts' status as a code enforcement officer there after he was indicted on sexual abuse charges last week.

WAVE 3 News has learned Betts also has served in a variety of law enforcement jobs and technically still might.

An open records request to the city of Audubon Park has revealed that Betts was hired as a sworn reserve officer after he resigned from LMPD back in 2014.

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Documents show Betts started in May 2015. In a phone interview with WAVE 3 News, Audubon Park Police Chief Doug Sweeney said he first met Betts when he hired him as a health and safety officer at LMPD.

He described Betts as a "self-starter" and a solid employee. When interviewing him for the reserve officer position at Audubon Park, Sweeney said he asked Betts about the professional standards investigation that was noted in his file.

WAVE 3 News has learned Betts was accused of sending sexual text messages to a 16-year-old female explorer, although the file only noted "improper contact" with the girl.

Betts explained it away and Sweeney said he assumed that since LMPD closed the probe without taking action, the incident was minor.

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Sweeney said he never would have offered Betts a job if he had known about the sexual assault Betts is now charged with.

Betts resigned from Audubon Park after less than six months because of commitments to another job; he later joined Rolling Hills as a code enforcement officer.

WAVE 3 News has checked with the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, which certifies officers in the Commonwealth. Both Betts and Brandon Wood, the other officer indicted in the case last week, are listed as "inactive."

A council spokesperson said credentials are normally revoked only when individuals are convicted of felonies.

WAVE 3 News also has learned Betts supervised youth Explorers from multiple agencies as a part of an annual summer program.

According to an online biography, Betts spent seven years as the assistant director of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Explorer Academy. It was a week-long program that included dozens of Explorers from at least six different states and 12 police agencies. He appeared in a WAVE 3 News story about the program back in 2010.

The Boy Scouts of America runs the Academy as well as LMPD's Explorer Program.

The Boy Scouts of America declined to comment on this story, citing pending litigation.

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