Legislators Call for Bulletproof KSP Vehicles Following Trooper Death

Sep 22, 2015

House Speaker Stumbo (left) speaks with Joe Ponder.
Credit LRC Public Information

The father of slain Kentucky State Police Trooper Cameron Ponder has gained lawmaker support for potentially retrofitting the KSP patrol car fleet with bullet-resistant laminate. Joe Ponder spoke with Kentucky State House Speaker Greg Stumbo and other legislators in Frankfort today on increased safety measures for front-line officers.

Ponder says he thought the increased protection of a bullet-resistant vehicle could have saved his son’s life. Trooper Cameron Ponder was shot and killed in his vehicle by Joseph Johnson-Shanks September 13 after a high speed chase on I-24 in Lyon County.

“My son is behind me all the way,” Ponder said.

House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adams and State Representative Tim Moore also backed the idea.

Stumbo says it could cost as low as $5,000 per vehicle to equip the KSP’s 600 or so patrol cars; that comes out to around $3 million.

“We want to make sure we are taking the right steps to make sure something like Cameron’s death never happens again,” Stumbo said.

State representative Will Coursey says the potential costs would be a “drop in the bucket” in the state budget.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer will review additional safety measures, including changes in training or the purchase of other equipment.

Coursey, who chairs the House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee, says his committee will look at potential legislative changes before and during next year’s Regular Session that starts in January.