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Bellevue Police Chief to Retire, City to Explore Daytime Curfew

It has been a year of honors for Bellevue Police Chief Wayne Turner, and on Wednesday night it was announced that it will be his last year on the job.

Turner will retire at the end of the month.

"It's been an interesting five years and several months but it's all paid off," said Turner.

Mayor Ed Riehl thanks Turner for his services. "He was the only chief I hoped to hire," Riehl said. "He came on board right after I became mayor.

"He's done a great job with some major issues we're facing in the city. I didn't know when I hired a police chief I would also hire our own little lobbyist. He's done a great job in Frankfort over the years that he's been police chief here and the other cities he has served."

Turner worked with lawmakers in Frankfort to draft legislation that led to harsher penalties for drug traffickers. Last week, he was named City Advocate of the Year by the Kentucky League of Cities. In August, the Kentucky Police Chiefs Association named Turner its Chief of the Year. Earlier this year, the Northern Kentucky Police Chiefs Association presented Turner with the Charles T. Donaldson Leadership Award.

"We knew the tsunami was coming and it came," Riehl said of the heroin crisis in the region. "He has handled it very well."

"We changed some laws on trafficking and hopefully it saved some lives," Turner said.

Turner was previously chief of police in Ludlow and also served as a lieutenant in the Ft. Thomas Police Department. 

He is a 2017 inductee into the Kentucky Military Veterans Hall of Fame and was an honorably discharged lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. He also served in the Marines. and was deployed to Iraq.

Turner said the Bellevue Police Department is now fully staffed - noting a pair of new recruits who have finished basic training - though that will change on October 31 when the city begins a search for his replacement.

City to explore daytime curfew

City staff was directed at Wednesday night's city council meeting to explore a daytime curfew ordinance for minors. 
There has been growing concern about wayward youth causing trouble in Bellevue, with the destruction of a playground at Grandview Elementary among the most notable occurrences.
Councilman David Slater asked Chief Turner about his thoughts on a daytime curfew.
"Cities have chosen to pass an ordinance and it allows a police officer to stop someone who is not on the surface violating the law," Turner said. He gave an example of a young teen playing on a basketball court during school hours as someone that could be questioned, "to see if there is an issue." "It's been a tremendous tool for other cities."
Typically, students stopped during daytime curfew hours are truant, Turner said. "We pick them up and school is more than happy to make sure they are taken care of for the afternoon and there's no more mischief," he said.
"I'd like to ask staff to start looking at that," Slater said, "so that our police officers can take care of some of the problems. Some of the kids, I've seem them out during the school day and they weren't where they should have been."
Other notes:
The rate of taxation for the City of Bellevue through June 30, 2018 was set at 0.335 of each $100 of assessed valuation for real estate, and 0.500 of each $100 of assessed valuation for personal property. The tax rate was approved by a vote of 4-2, with Slater and Rodney Poynter opposing.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher