Being a police officer is not for everyone. Each day, officers leave home with a state of mind that it could be their last day on earth. They take great risks when they walk up to a car on the highway or respond to fight complaints and domestics. These are risks the average person will not do.
Kentucky State Police Det. Josh Howard is one of those risk-takers of the many in Harlan County. He has been in law enforcement for 12 years and is well-known for his smile and kindness to people.
Howard, 35, has always had the mindset to help people. Early in his life he was a volunteer with the Harlan County Rescue Squad and local fire departments. He then began his work career in 1999 with Mountain EMS as an EMT. He’s had work stints with Knox County EMS, Bell County EMS and is currently part-time with Harlan EMS.
Beginning his police career in 2003 with the Evarts Police Department, he went on to work for the Harlan Police Department that year before taking a job with the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office in 2007.
Howard maintained a position at the sheriff’s office until 2012 and was a well-known K-9 handler with the popular shepherd, Dasty. The duo made the news often for their work around the county.
Joining the state police in 2012, Howard currently holds the position of detective, and says he enjoys helping people.
“Policing allows me a chance to give back to the community. It allows me a chance to help people in need, and be there for people in a time of need. It also allows me the opportunity to represent the victims of crimes and hold people responsible for their actions,” Howard said.
He said all cases are important to him.
“My goal is to work hard – give 100 percent daily to make not only Harlan County, but eastern Kentucky a safe and enjoyable place to live,” Howard said.
Post 10 Commander P.J. Burnett said Howard is an “excellent investigator.”
“Det. Howard is an outstanding trooper, who is assigned to detective status,” Burnett said. “With Det. Howard’s diverse law enforcement background he has become an excellent investigator who has brought several high profile cases to successful conclusions. He is a tremendous asset to Post 10.”
Howard is a 1998 graduate of Harlan High School, attended Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College and Department of Criminal Justice training.
Other volunteer services over the years include assistant coaching for pee wee football and assistant coach for Cumberland Redskins football for the fifth/sixth-grades.
In his spare time, he said he loves spending time with family and enjoying outdoors and watersports. He also has a knack for aviation.
“I enjoy spending time flying airplanes and being involved with aviation,” Howard said. “Flying is a good stress reliever, and a way to get away and free your mind from all the bad things going on in the world.”
Reach Debbie Caldwell at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @raiders42