After a two-year break, former Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton is back on the streets.
Melton began working as a police officer in Georgetown earlier this week, almost two years after his second term as sheriff ended in 2018.
“It was time,” Melton said Friday afternoon. “I love serving and helping people. I missed that.”
Prior to being elected sheriff in 2010, Melton worked as a deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and an officer with the Versailles Police Department.
Melton lost his bid for a third term to current Sheriff Chris Quire in 2018.
After spending the last couple years at home with a new daughter, Melton said he was ready to go back to work. He was looking for an agency in central Kentucky, and Georgetown was the only department he applied to, he said.
“The department is accredited,” he said. “They’ve got a great team here. There’s opportunities for advancement. It’s where I wanted to be.”
Working for a municipal department carries a few advantages, he said, over an elected office.
“It’s good,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about politics.”
There’s also no responsibility to mail tax bills or collect property taxes, he said.
Melton’s last term as sheriff brought criticism from state auditors, who said Melton overspent his budget by $220,000 in 2017, and some items were double-billed or omitted. Auditors also said there was not adequate oversight of daily office procedures, adequate separation of duties or that tax payments were deposited daily.
Melton told auditors in the report he was "proud to serve the citizens of Franklin County for over eight years" and he spent funds and staff to "address critical public safety issues."
Melton said administrative issues were either being corrected or already resolved.
"During my tenure, no funds were missing and my team dedicated to make this county a safer place to live, work and play," he said in the statement for the 2017 audit.