Collett named La Grange Police chief

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By Amanda Manning

 The La Grange Police Department has a chief again after a month without one.  

In mid-December, now La Grange Mayor John Black told former Police Chief Frank Conway once Black was officially mayor, Conway would no longer be police chief. Conway said he was given the option to remain on the police force, just not as police chief. Conway decided to retire four years earlier than he had planned. 

At the January city council meeting, Black proposed La Grange Police Officer David Stratton as the new chief, which the council shot down at a vote of 6-2. Several said they were not voting for him because he lacked the qualifications for the job.

“As most of you know, I attempted and very much tried to bring a nominee forward at our first city council meeting, understandably I was not able to get that accomplished,” Black said. 

The La Grange City Council unanimously approved Black’s new nomination of Greg Collett Feb. 4.

Black said he interviewed law enforcement both inside and outside of Oldham County for the position. 

“When I was looking at nominees, they may have been a sergeant, but they were just a sergeant in a certain division,” Black explained. “I felt like Greg has the necessary experience to see everything.”

Collett is currently the school security officer (SSO) at the East Oldham campus. It was unclear at the time of press who would replace Collett. 

He worked for the Oldham County Police Department for 27 years, according to Black.  He retired as a major of the department in August 2017.

“For those of you who don’t know Greg, he’s been here all his life, went to Oldham County High School,” Black said.  “Greg is just a fine man - I think his resume speaks for itself.”

Black said he wants Collett and other La Grange officers to be involved in the community.

“They’ve got to be involved with the public. That’s what I’m expecting out of all policemen,” Black said. 

“I would like to see you out in public yourself down Main Street, visiting people, I want people to know who you are,” Councilor Debbie Pollard later said. “Get a good rapport with the people in our city – and I think you will.”

No one spoke about the police chief appointment during public comment. 

“We’ll serve with pride and honor,” Collett told the council. “I’m happy to serve.”

“I’m sure there will be differences in the city operation but we will adapt to that,” he added.

Collett is the brother of former La Grange Police Chief Kevin Collett. In 2014, Kevin Collett retired from the La Grange Police after 12 years. 

Collett was given a one-year contract and will make $70,000 a year.