Dennie touts his experience and relationships
After 20 plus years of serving Pendleton County in the sheriff’s office, Deputy Sheriff Todd Dennie is looking to step up to the lead role of sheriff.
With Sheriff Buddy O’Hara hiring him as a part-time deputy sheriff during the 1997 flood, Dennie soon became Pendleton County Schools first school resource officer in 2000-2001. In 2010, he assumed the role of Pendleton County Chief Deputy.
Throughout that time, he has had extensive training and classroom work.
“I’ve probably taken 80 percent of whatever they might offer,” answered Dennie concerning to the yearly training of 40 hours per year required of law enforcement officers. “It’s been helping me do detective work, and it helps me understand different things of that nature.
Amidst that training was a week-long SRO workshop in Birmingham, Alabama. Dennie sees the position as a positive for the schools and county.
“It’s very important, obviously, for school safety, having a sworn law enforcement officer in the school,” he said.
He pointed out that it provides security for the building, but also establishes connections with kids that benefit the sheriff’s department long term.
“I’ve been out of the schools now for ten years, and I still get a lot of kids, parents and grandparents who come up to me and say I was the school resource officer,” he added. That established relationship is one that he is able to build on when investigating or handling situations that arise today.
He feels the present agreement between the sheriff’s office, Pendleton County Schools and Fiscal Court works well with the SRO’s under the sheriff’s office because of enhanced communication and training.
If elected, present SRO Jared Brewer would serve as his Chief Deputy. He presently provides scenario training for the staff and SRO’s that would be directly related to school situations as well as others that deputy sheriffs may face.
The relationships which SRO’s are building with students and staff and the curriculum-based projects that are presently built into the local agreement as part of the SRO’s responsibilities will go towards filling in the void left by the now-defunct DARE program.
“It’s a positive program that is important to the sheriff’s department,” said Dennie. “You get to see the staff, and they tell you things that you might never know without them seeing you on a regular basis.”
Pendleton County has constables in every district, and it is a contested race for that position for this year. How does that position fit in with the sheriff’s office?
“I don’t have a problem with whoever is elected as Constable,” said Dennie about constables patrolling their area and aiding big accident scenes.
But the biggest issue facing the county is the drug issue.
Dennie has been taking classes, working with the Ky. State Police, and learning about handling the drug cases facing the sheriff’s office as they transition from the Buffalo Trace Drug Task Force to Pendleton County Sheriff’s office addressing the drug trafficking program.
The Buffalo Drug Task Force was disbanded three to five years ago due to a lack of funding.
“We’ve been doing it more locally since then,” said Dennie. He emphasized that residents can use the anonymous tip line on the sheriff’s website to help provide information about the drug problem in the county.
“We know the ones who are selling the drugs, or we have a really good idea. Just knowing that is not enough for me to go kick their door in and arrest them. It takes awhile to build these cases,” said Dennie before adding that they know they are going to be picked apart by the defense attorneys.
“If we’ve messed up, then we lose that case and we just wasted our time and resources on that particular case and we have to start all over again. And next time, it may be harder to get in there,” he said before adding that the office needs to keep up-to-date with the times with equipment in the drug battle.
Efficiency with both time and resources is important to Dennie. “Great coverage is having someone or two people out for most of the day. We do that really well now but it comes down to funding,” he said.
“I have lived here all of my life. I’m very open-minded, caring, and very passionate about Pendleton County. I love this place. Whatever I can do to make this place great is what I want to do,” he said. That is what he wanted the voters to know about Billy Todd Dennie.
You can the entire in-depth video interview that covers these and other topics more in-depth at www.falmouthoutlook.com. There is a growing list of video interviews with local community leaders that can also be viewed.