03/09/08 — Pikeville chief says no to weekends

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Pikeville chief says no to weekends

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 9, 2008 4:00 PM

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville police Chief Ken Barrett announced his resignation Friday in a letter citing a disagreement with officials over what hours he would work.

The resignation is effective March 31, according to a letter the chief left for town board members.

Mayor Herb Sieger said the town board decided to change Barrett’s hours after disagreement in the department over who would work nights or weekends.

“(Barrett) had never worked nights or weekends, with a limited number of people, limited staff,” Sieger said. “One of them, and I can’t tell you who, but one of them has planned on leaving the police department” because of the hours worked.

The mayor said the department consists of “only three with the chief ... and the other two thought it was unfair they had to do all the nights and all the weekends.”

In the new arrangement the chief would be assigned to work more nights and at least one weekend a month, the mayor said.

The chief said the new scheduling would not be in his best interest.

Barrett has five years before retirement, according to one town official.

“I feel that the stipulations that the board has made with schedules ... I feel that I will not be able to fill their requirements. It was made clear that the changes were not negotiable,” Barrett wrote. “I’m afraid that this mandate has made it impossible for me to continue working with the town.”

The mayor estimated Barrett’s current salary at around $40,000.

Commissioner Edith McClenny said she sent Barrett home on Friday because he had been sick.

Mrs. McClenny said the resignation of Barrett discourages her.

“Now it looks like they’re going to crucify the chief,” Mrs. McClenny said. “If he’s the chief and the head of the department, he ought to be the one writing out the schedule.”

Barrett could not be reached for comment.