• John McGary, Woodford News Editor

Police chief to leave post Aug. 31

VERSAILLES POLICE CHIEF James Fugate, right, shown talking to Lt. Michael Fortney shortly after being appointed chief in November 2015, will retire at the end of August after 22 years of service.  (Photo by John McGary)

Versailles Police Chief James Fugate will retire Aug. 31.

“I just felt like the timing’s right. It’s kind of hard to put into words. You just know it, when the time’s right,” said Fugate, who’s been chief of the Versailles Police Department (VPD) since November 2015.

Fugate began his 22-year law enforcement career with the Nicholasville Police Department before joining the VPD in January 1999. After four years on patrol, he was promoted to detective, and supervised investigations from 2007 to 2011. In May 2011, he was named assistant police chief.

“I know that the department is in a great place now and going forward, so I have absolutely no concerns there,” Fugate said. “I consider myself very fortunate for all the opportunities from the beginning to the end. I’ve always enjoyed great support from this community, the (Versailles) mayor, council, Judge Coyle and Fiscal court, Midway’s mayor and council as well.”

Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott praised the man he picked to be chief.

The City of Versailles owes a debt of gratitude to Chief Fugate for his leadership of the department,” Traugott said. “He has worked closely with myself and the council to get the police station project off the ground, body-worn cameras on patrol officers, Narcan in cruisers, and a multi-pronged effort to deal with drugs and addiction. I wish him the best in his well-earned retirement.”

Fugate admitted that he’d miss the men and women he’s worked with for years and joked that he believed they’d let him back in when the new VPD station opens next summer.

“I hope so. Maybe let me use the gym, you think?” Fugate said.

Fugate will celebrate his 46th birthday eight days before he steps down. He said he plans to remain in the area with his wife, Stacy, and daughters Sydney, 19, and Taylor, 17.

Asked what he’ll do next, he said, “I don’t know. Just see what happens. Nothing’s planned, but I’ll stay busy somehow.”

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