Kentucky Search Warrant Task Force Sets Goals

Members of the Kentucky Search Warrant Task Force looked at how warrants are secured, reviewed, and served at the group’s second meeting.  Attorney General Daniel Cameron formed the task force earlier this year after the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. On Monday afternoon, members heard from the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). They also held three subcommittee meetings.

AOC Director Laurie Dudgeon told the task force that her office has prepared an updated search warrant form but that it is not yet complete. The Kentucky State Police will offer input before Dudgeon’s office publishes the document.

Several members voiced concern that no one is collecting statewide search warrant data. While they look to build upon Senate Bill 4, a KLC initiative legislators passed in the 2021 session to limit the use of no-knock search warrants, members said they want to see the data before they recommend changes. “I think that’s paramount to what we’re trying to do on this committee,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory. Gregory, a retired state trooper, represents the Kentucky League of Cities on the task force.

Members also voiced a need to understand how training is conducted. DOCJT Legal Training Section Supervisor Doug Barnet told members that the Department’s training includes a significant amount of focus on the U.S. Constitution and protections against unwarranted search and seizure.

Mayor Gregory noted that at least five different agencies currently train police officers in Kentucky. The task force will seek to identify differences in training and potentially create a list of best practices.

The task force will meet monthly through December. Its next scheduled meeting is at 1:00 p.m. EDT, July 22, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Cameron has asked for recommendations for the 2022 session.