FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been weeks since Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed and killed in the line of duty. His killer is still at large, but in the wake of his death a valuable reminder has been brought to the minds of the law enforcement community: when you're on the job keep your head on a swivel.
"You've got a cop killer out on the streets right now, and that's a huge problem for all of us," said Sheriff Pat Melton, of Franklin County, "As tragic as it is, if there's anything good that can come out of it, it just reaffirms all the training that we've had."
Sheriff Melton said his deputies go through 18 weeks of training at the academy in Richmond, and they follow that with 13 more weeks of field training before they go out on their own. Still, the Sheriff said he is constantly reminding his deputies to stay alert, but in light of the murder Officer Ellis, Melton says the awareness must jump to another level.
"All of the deputies are much more aware. I think they're heightened even more with some of the things that have happened associated with this case," the Sheriff explained, "You can always become a target."
"You're trying to have your head on a swivel like a hoot owl, your head is always turning, you're always looking," described Franklin County Deputy Roy Rivers.
Deputy Rivers went on to say it's at times like this that a tragedy to a fellow officer can jolt someone out of any complacency.
"Even as you get older, you get a little more complacent. I know I've been guilty of that at times. Once something like this happens, it's such a tragedy it makes you think again," said Deputy Rivers.
Because in Sheriff Melton's office ,rule number one is a must follow.
"Rule number one is you go home and you go home safe," said Sheriff Melton.
Ellis' case remains open and right now the Bardstown Police Department is offering $125,000 for any information that leads to the suspect's arrest.