'Don't make those moves that would be dangerous': Former chief warns of police nerves after deputy's death

Gene Ferrara, former UC Police Chief, said the shooting death of a Kentucky deputy could put local officers on edge
Scott County Deputy Caleb Conley
Posted at 9:47 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 23:53:08-04

CINCINNATI — At a vigil for slain Scott County Deputy Caleb Conley, nearly a dozen people told stories about the law enforcement officer, father, husband, friend and veteran killed Monday.

Some told funny stories from the past, but many mourned the man who they said would help anyone in need at any time.

According to police, Conley was shot to death during a traffic stop on I-75. The man accused of killing him, Steven Sheangshang, was also a suspect in both West Chester and Fort Mitchell in the week before the shooting.

RELATED | Man accused of killing Kentucky deputy was also a suspect in West Chester, Fort Mitchell

Traffic stops can be one of the most dangerous aspects of an officer's job, according to retired University of Cincinnati police chief and current police trainer Gene Ferrara.

"Police work is 95% tedium punctuated by 5% of terror," Ferrara said. "Problem is, you don't know when the 5% is coming."

Ferrara said officers in the Tri-State, no question, know about Conley's death, and he said that would make them consider their own mortality.

"We all signed up, knew that potential was there, but you push it to the back of your mind," he said, "but when it happens it's brought back to the front. For some period of time, officers are more likely to be more nervous about that approach."

Ferrara warned anyone who gets pulled over to keep potential nerves in mind when interacting with police and avoid making any sudden or unusual movements.

"Keep your hands up on the steering wheel in plain sight, even put them out the window, whatever. Let the officer know you mean them no harm," said Ferrara.

In addition to murdering Conley, police said Sheangshang held a pastor at gunpoint, stole his car and drove to Lexington. There, police said he shot another person before stealing their vehicle. He's charged with murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, tampering with physical evidence and second-degree burglary.

A GoFundMe set up for Conley's family has raised nearly $70,000.

Watch Live:

Morning Rush