Cops patrol utility companies as tempers flare

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No arrests, serious incidents reported

By Bob White



HARDIN COUNTY – Off-duty law enforcement officers are providing security for electrical utility companies as last week’s ice storms and subsequent power outages shorten tempers.

Nine days into the storm’s aftermath, no direct threats or incidents have been reported by police but law enforcement is on hand at utility company sites to prevent reckless actions on the part of frustrated customers.

Officers in sheriff’s and city police uniforms and gear are being provided to the Kentucky Utilities facility on Bacon Creek Road and the Nolin RECC facility on Ring Road by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 40.

“Tempers are short,” Hardin County Sheriff’s Office executive officer Greg Lowe said, “but we’ve not had any incidents.”

Kentucky Utilities spokesman Cliff Feltham said some “customer service representatives have had to deal with some angry customers in the office settings” and an occasional problem where residents “want our techs to do their home or building immediately,” but no angry mobs.

“We have procedures we need to follow to restore power,” Feltham said. “One section of a neighborhood grid needs to be restored before we can get another part on ... sometimes they just don’t understand that.”

Feltham said, aside from those few exceptions, “customers are happy to see our crews in the area.”

One patrolling  law enforcement officer confirmed no serious incidents, but noted there had been some rowdies making derogatory comments aimed at utility crews.

 Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.