Whitesburg KY
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Investigator is hired here

For the first time in 25 years, the Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has its own detective.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison Banks said when a secretary retired at the end of April, he got no applicants to replace her after a month, so he sought permission from the Attorney General’s office to reclassify the open position.

“Instead of a three-day a week, part-time secretary, I got a three-day-a-week, part-time retired deputy sheriff as Commonwealth’s Detective,” Banks said.

Kenny Terry, who is a retired deputy sheriff with the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department and a former state Vehicle Enforcement officer, started work on Monday.

Terry, who worked for Sheriff Danny Webb for 16 years, also served as the sheriff ’s department’s detective with the UNITE drug task force and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. He retired last year.

Banks, who has been 47th District Commonwealth’s Attorney for 18 years, has never had a detective, and Will Collins, who was Commonwealth’s Attorney before him, had also not had a detective.

“They hadn’t had one since (Commonwealth Attorney) James Wiley (Craft), however long that was — in the 90’s,” Banks said.

The last detective in the office left in 1993.

Commonwealth’s Attorneys since then have relied on Kentucky State Police detectives.

Commonwealth’s Detectives are intended as investigative assistants to Commonwealth’s Attorneys and do not perform day-to-day police work, though they are sworn law enforcement officers and must be certified by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training under Kentucky law. Banks said Terry’s duties, at least for now, will be interviewing witnesses, reviewing case files, and following up on subpoenas that are issued, but not served.

“I’d love to have a fulltime detective, but I’m happy to get one part time,” Banks said.

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