Covington Police regain 30 years’ experience

From left, Covington Police Chief Brian Valenti, Mayor Joe Meyer, and Officer Matt Hugenberg.

Hugenberg the 6th veteran retired officer to return

COVINGTON, Ky. – The swearing-in ceremony for new police officers in the City of Covington typically follows a set pattern:

  • Right before Covington Mayor Joe Meyer gives the official oath of office, Meyer reiterates the importance of maintaining the Police Department’s positive relationship with the community it serves.
  • And as Chief Brian Valenti hands the new officer their badge, Valenti points to four words etched into the badges – “integrity, professionalism, justice and compassion” – and says those core values should guide the officer’s decisions in both their professional and personal lives.

Today, those directives were unnecessary.

The officer being sworn in – Matt Hugenberg – was quite familiar with the Mayor’s and Chief’s philosophies, having served in Covington’s Police Department from 1994 to 2023.

Coming out of retirement as part of the retiree-rehire program approved by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2016, Hugenberg will serve on a one-year contract approved by the Board of Commissioners on Dec. 19.

He is the sixth veteran Covington retiree to be hired by the Department under the program, which is limited to officers who had at least 20 years’ of police experience. Four of those hires came during the last year alone, Valenti said.

“It’s not often that you get to hire a respected officer with almost 30 years’ experience,” Valenti said. “Matt’s return will benefit both the Department and the community.”

While in Covington, Hugenberg served in the Patrol Bureau and trained new officers. Before Covington, he served four years as a security officer in the U.S. Air Force. He studied criminal justice at Northern Kentucky University.

When asked how he liked his short retirement, Hugenberg answered with a quip that spoke to the sacrifices that officers become accustomed to making on behalf of the job: “Well, I had both Thanksgiving and Christmas off,” he said. “That was very nice.”

# # #