By Brett Milam
A small town police department is looking for more police officers.
The Higginsport Police Department in Higginsport has been growing since it reopened in June of 2015 after closing in 2010, headed by Bob Feinen, who retired from the Cincinnati Police Department in 1992 and has over 30 years of policing experience.
Within six months, Feinen had HPD humming again.
Higginsport is a small, resort-area town with a population the hovers around 400 and sits along the river in Brown County near Georgetown.
Along the river, the New Richmond Police Department is the last one along the river until Higginsport.
The department was necessary, Feinen said, because there’s “known drug activity” when there is no police department and drug activity is one of the major issue the department deals with.
“I had a number of dealers and now they’re gone,” Feinen said. “Overdoses were significant when we first opened up. Our last overdose was the Super Bowl.”
Feinen said the department does carry Narcan, the heroin overdose reversal drug.
“You brought them back to life, but did you?” he said, adding that it’s a thorny issue, given how many go right back to doing heroin afterwards. “I would rather give people a chance to change their personal lifestyle.”
Another issue is the traffic going through Higginsport, which also helps fund the department, i.e., traffic stops resulting in civil asset forfeiture.
Civil asset forfeiture encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate crimes. It’s a practice that has been criticized for allowing law enforcement to take possessions, such as cars and money, without an indictment or even evidence a crime has been committed.
However, Feinen said, for a small community like theirs, it helps them out considerably.
“We’re there to make the village residents more comfortable,” Feinen said. “We’re protecting them and allowing them to have their lifestyle.”
Feinen said it’s more like a civil fine, wherein, the driver doesn’t get points on their record and the insurance company isn’t notified.
“All we want them to do is pay this fine,” he said.
Assistant Police Chief Pat Olvey added, “It’s a win-win on both sides, especially for the violator.”
There’s also not a mandated court appearance.
“We’re here to help you slow down,” Olvey said, adding that the myth is that drivers are going a couple miles-per-hour over the speed limit, when in fact, the average is 17 over.
It’s not a community that’s growing, Olvey said, but it’s rich in history and heritage.
“I love the river in the background and eagles nest in the area,” he said.
As for what the two said they are looking for in a police officer to bring on board: the officer must be caring, knowledgeable and adaptable.
“That car may have John Dillinger in it or Mary Poppins,” Olvey said.
There’s also a lot of social skills involved in it, Feinen added.
Those interested in applying to the Higginsport Police Department are encouraged to contact Pat Olvey at 937-375-4115 or through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.