The Harlan City Police Department wouldn’t be the same without Officer George Young Jr.
Young, a 15-year veteran of the department, has spent his entire police career with the Harlan City Police Department.
He graduated from Harlan High School in 1981, and furthered his education at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, earning an HVAC certification. He has also earned certifications in investigations, accident reconstruction and police supervision through the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond.
“To help the citizens of the community when a crisis arises, not only criminal but to be able to help or guide our citizens to proper sources for them to get their needs met,” says Young, 53, when asked what policing means to him.
He is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, and in his spare time has been involved in fundraisers for different organizations including the American Cancer Society and Angel Tree. For the past few years, he has given a career day presentation for the students at the Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy.
Before going into law enforcement, Young worked construction on other jobs, eventually joining the staff at the Harlan County Detention Center. After about a year working corrections, he joined the Harlan City Police Department.
With 15 years on the force, Young has a hard time picking just one case as his most memorable, but there is a sexual assault case that still sticks in his mind.
“I learned so much about the victims of crimes,” he said. “Not only is there the criminal act, but the psychological and emotional trauma that it causes. Crimes affect our entire community, there is damage done to that person (the victim), community and the perpetrator. I believe this case brought that to the forefront, that there is more to this than just placing people in jail.”
Young is currently enrolled in MSU, and plans to graduate in May of 2016.
“Officer Young is a wonderful asset to the city and department,” Harlan City Police Chief Mike Thomas said. “It is his home, and he loves, enjoys and takes care of his home. He has several years’ experience and a variety of specialized training that benefits our department.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde