GLASGOW – Jennifer Arbogast was introduced Monday as Glasgow’s new chief of police.
At a Glasgow City Council meeting, former Glasgow Police Department Chief Guy Howie might have escaped some people’s notice at first, clad in a purple dress shirt rather than the uniform he typically wore to council meetings. After receiving a commendation for his time as chief from October 2015 to June 2019, Howie passed the torch to Arbogast.
Mayor Harold Armstrong administered Arbogast’s oath of office, and Howie pinned her badge to her chest before the two shared an embrace.
“I’m excited and proud, and I feel it’s an honor to be able to continue to work with the people of Glasgow,” she said after the meeting.
Arbogast began her career in law enforcement as a patrol officer with GPD, and she has also worked for the department as a detective, detective sergeant and a captain.
“I told (former GPD Chief Darrell Pickett) one time when I was hired, I said I started my career with this department and I want to finish my career with this department,” she said. “In other words, I will retire from Glasgow, whenever that may be. I hope not anytime soon, as long as my health holds up and as long as they still want me.”
Arbogast said that as chief, she wants to focus on strengthening teamwork within GPD and facilitating more collaboration between the department and other law enforcement agencies.
“You can’t do this job by yourself. It takes everybody,” she said. “I think we’ve got a really good foundation built and I think we need to grow and build upon that foundation.”
Before she was sworn in, a municipal order to appoint Arbogast as chief was approved by every council member present except Chasity Lowery. Council members Marna Kirkpatrick and Patrick Gaunce were absent.
According to Armstrong, the process of choosing a new chief involved the candidates being interviewed by the city’s public safety committee and a citizens’ committee established for the sole purpose of choosing a new chief. Those interviews were recorded, and about 36 GPD officers saw the footage as well, he said.
Members of both committees and the police officers voted on who to name chief, with Arbogast receiving the most votes, he said. Armstrong said he had faith in the committees and a pool of GPD officers to choose the best candidate for the job.
“I felt like that whoever the officers and the committee voted for and was the clear winner, I thought that it would be the best choice,” he said.
Lowery didn’t speak about her vote during the meeting but later presented a written statement to the Daily News explaining that she was opposed to the process by which Arbogast was elected, not to Arbogast serving as chief.
“I met with Chief Arbogast earlier and I explained that my vote was not directed (at) her personally but reflected my strong belief that the position of police chief should not be determined by an election that consisted of a majority of police department employees,” the statement read.
The statement also said Lowery wishes Arbogast “nothing but the best” and will continue to support the department.
In another matter, the council approved on second reading a motion to establish an interlocal agreement intended to spur business development in the county.
The agreement calls for the establishment of a seven-member board of directors for the Barren County Economic Development Authority, also known as the IDEA Board.
Three of the members, according to the agreement, are to be appointed by the mayor of Glasgow, three by the county’s judge-executive and one by the mayor of Cave City, though these nominees would have to be approved by their respective legislative bodies.