Alexandria is doing away with their SWAT team and instead will work with Kenton County for those services going forward.
Alexandria City Administrator David Plummer said the new agreement would require roughly the same amount of money for operations — $4,000 annually — but would allow the city to spend less time coordinating training schedules, ammunition, etc.
The Kenton County SWAT team serves approximately 20 different jurisdictions between Kenton and Campbell Counties, according to Alexandria Police Chief Lucas Cooper. The Campbell County Police Department and the cities of Bellevue, Dayton, Fort Thomas, Southgate, Highland Heights, and Wilder utilize the Kenton County SWAT services.
“The city of Alexandria is stopping sponsoring a team, per se, that will allow us to offload a lot of the equipment we maintain, and we’ll probably look into moving that to the Kenton County team for them to utilize,” Cooper said. “It takes it from an in-house service that we’ve done for many, many years and moves it over to them with their full-time staff that maintains their team, their policies, and training.”
Cooper said Alexandria had sponsored a SWAT team since around the mid-1990s. He said Alexandria officers would still have an opportunity to participate in the SWAT team; they would have to follow the Kenton County team’s guidelines and tryout procedures. The city had one officer on its SWAT team.
“In recent years, just due to budgets and the need for consolidation, the amount of members on the team that we’ve hosted, we’ve gotten to a point where it’s really difficult for us to maintain a team that’s safe and a team that is able to respond to the need should there be anything come up,” Cooper said.
He said the response time would not be any slower than when they had in-house services.
During the Alexandria City Council meeting on June 1, it was also discussed that a name change might occur to indicate that the Kenton County SWAT team is more regional across Northern Kentucky.
Every participating agency gets a seat on the board for the Kenton County SWAT organization; therefore, Cooper will sit on that board.