The Bardstown Police Department is a progressive department dedicated to making the City of Bardstown a safe community to live in and a great place to call home. The Police Department is staffed with 21 sworn police officers and 2 civilians. The department is made up of several divisions, which strive to keep Bardstown a safe and pleasant town to live and work in.
The Bardstown Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police and public safety to the citizens of Bardstown and its guests. We will strive to accomplish this by maintaining a workforce of highly skilled personnel dedicated to the highest standards of performance with the goal of improving the quality of life for the whole community while maintaining respect for individual rights and human dignity.
BBardstown is Kentucky's second oldest city and the police department dates back to 1824. Prior to this, like most towns in Kentucky, law enforcement fell to the local sheriff and his deputies to maintain order. In May 1824 the town was protected by a patrol of twelve men who were organized into two platoons of six; six men patrolled from twlight to 1:00AM and six men from 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM. There is no record of salary, therefore concluding that the patrol group consisted of volunteers who were concerned with law and order within the city limits. In the 1850's a town marshal was approved and appointed with the duties of enforcing town ordinances and maintaining peace.
Records indicate that several different men served in this capacity, but due to the increase in distilleries, none were successful in their attempts. The consumption of alcohol by the young men of Bardstown led to violence and disorderly conduct. The "town fathers" of Bardstown had appointed several town marshals to "run things in a more quiet and harmless way", but gave up and appointed George Hunter, who would strictly enforce the laws. George W. Hunter's Life is a book written by his grandson, "George W. Hunter; The Daring Lawman of Nelson County, KY by Wood E. Hunter, Sr. Marshal Hunter was sworn in January 14, 1868 and was given a yearly salary of $600.00. George Hunter served two different terms as town marshal (1868-1872; 1877-1880). He also was a deputy sheriff and a deputy U.S. marshal. In 1863 four men were officially listed as "City Watch" and were paid $20.00 a month to patrol the streets of Bardstown.
In the December 13th, 1865 minutes, a "police force of six men are hereby appointed" leading to the first fulltime, paid police force that has continued to grow and today, has 30 employees; an authorized strength of 27 officers and 3 civilians who proudly serve the people and community of Bardstown.