Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton defended his role in a marketing video for gang-monitoring software in which he and several of his deputies simulated a raid on a gun deal.
The video was taken off the Internet Tuesday following complaints about its perceived unfavorable depiction of local law enforcement.
“Recently, my office assisted a local company in the production of a video to market online offender monitoring services to Sheriff’s Offices in the state of California,” Melton wrote in a letter Thursday, which can be read in full on his Facebook page. “In these difficult economic times, I felt compelled to help a reputable business that has an office and employees in Franklin County.”
The business that produced the video is Lexington-based Corrisoft.
“My staff appeared in a dramatization that included simulated law enforcement action,” he wrote. “The dramatization included music and special effects such as pyrotechnics and slow motion video. It is clearly a fictional episode intended as marketing material. The video in question is of very high production quality, but it is not reality TV.
“This video was never intended to realistically portray Kentucky law enforcement tactics,” Melton continued. “We don’t start the slow motion feature and crank up the music before we conduct an operation. I believe it is quite clear the events depicted in this video are entirely fictional.”
Melton went on in his letter to state his commitment to using “innovative and unconventional means to serve the citizens of Franklin County.” He cited his agency’s Twitter account, “Text-A-Tip” anonymous tip texting system and his Facebook page, noting that other local agencies now have similar programs.
The marketing video was posted on the Facebook page of the sheriff’s office and has since been taken down.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as Franklin County Sheriff,” Melton said. “I look forward to continuing to use new and innovative ways to serve my constituents. I would encourage anyone with concerns to contact me. I am always willing to meet with anyone at their convenience to discuss any concerns they may have.”
Melton said those with concerns can call 875-8740.