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Kovacs promoted to assistant chief

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Shelbyville PD tabs veteran officer to support Goodwin

By Lisa King

The Shelbyville Police Department has undergone several personnel changes this year, with the most recent being the naming of Istvan “Ish” Kovacs as new assistant police chief.

Kovacs, formerly the department’s community resource officer, was promoted to the rank of major on Friday, denoting the status of assistant chief of police.

Kovacs, who is retired from the Jeffersontown Police Department and an 11-year veteran of Shelbyville PD was sworn in Friday afternoon by Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty surrounded by family, friends and a roomful of police officers during a ceremony at the police department.

“This is all so incredible,” he said after he taking his oath and his wife, Terra pinned on his badge, a traditional practice for family members of officers. “Right now, I’m still trying to believe that I’ve really accomplished this, that I’ve been chosen for this great opportunity.”

Kovacs served on the department from 1989 to 1991, went on to a career at the Jeffersontown and, after retiring, came back to Shelbyville, where he has worked for more than eight years.

“I missed all my friends, so I had to come back,” he said with a grin.

The role of assistant chief has been vacant since Jan. 1, when Danny Goodwin was named to replace the recently retired Bob Schutte, who had been chief for the past 8 years.

Goodwin expressed confidence that Kovacs would do an outstanding job as assistant chief.

“We had a large amount of very qualified candidates and skilled people, so it was a really big decision,” he said. “The mayor and I had several conservations about it before making a choice. Ish has very good values and twenty-three years of law-enforcement experience.

“He has been community resource officer for years, and it’s exciting to have such an exceptional person in this position. I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job, and this department will support him in every way we can.”

Hardesty shared Goodwin’s enthusiasm.

“He is very experience and very qualified, and we are lucky to have him,” he said.

Kovacs said the department would name a community resource officer, to serve as sort of liaison between the police department and the public and is involved in all sorts of activities, such as Crime Stopper and neighborhood watch programs.

“My goal is to put some energy put back into the program,” he said. “We’ve done an incredible job around here, improving the department administratively, and in the personnel we have acquired. We just have some incredible people around here.

“We have a lot here to offer, and I’d like to see this department become more in touch with the community.”

Said Terra Kovacs: “He has been a very dedicated police officer, and it’s good to see that his hard work has paid off. I’m very proud of him.”