Bill Jenkins spoke at his last fiscal court meeting Tuesday as Logan County Jailer, leaving the meeting with tears in his eyes. Jenkins is vacating his elected office 10 months early saying he is ready to move on. His last day is Feb. 28th.
The jailer of 17 years had previously said he was leaving the position early because he was tired of being on call 24-7 and was looking forward to traveling with family and friends and spending time being a grandpa to his granddaughter. At Tuesday’s meeting, Jenkins added that his hearing loss had progressively gotten worse and it was difficult for him to have a conversation. The jailer was concerned about making decisions on something he didn’t hear. He also mentioned he was making just $100 more than he would make with social security added to his retirement from the state police and “it was not worth the aggravation” to stay.
Jenkins talked Tuesday about his past work experiences as a state trooper and his opportunity to meet many people along the way, including the famous faces of Linda Carter, Ed McMahon and Waylon Jennings. Jenkins also spoke about some high profile cases he had worked, and his disdain for working with crimes against children.
When wrapping up his past experiences with law enforcement, the jailer gave a brief look into what one can expect from operating a jail. He compared the jail to a pressure cooker, saying it could blow any day.
“We are getting a much different type of inmate now-a-days. They are more violent than in the past,” said Jenkins. “We used to see mostly marijuana and crack cocaine cases, but now it’s meth related cases cases, which brings more discipline problems, as well as medical issues.”
Jenkins added that a lot of things go into making decisions daily at the jail. The decisions made not only affect the community and the jail staff, but the inmates and their families.
“I have done my best as jailer and I can leave with my head held high,” said Jenkins, adding his father taught him to live a life without malice and without holding grudges. He added he would be leaving the position not holding any and appreciated the kindness shown to him by so many during his tenure.
Sheriff’s deputy Jim Ray was appointed by Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick to fill Jenkins’ empty seat until November of this year when a new jailer will be elected. Ray is a native of Russellville and a graduate of Russellville High School. He currently works as a deputy for the Logan County Sheriff’s Department. He served on the Russellville Police Department before accepting a job with the Kentucky State Police, from which he is now retired. Ray also served a few years as Adairville’s Chief of Police beginning in 2004. Ray will leave the sheriff’s department for the jailer position, but plans to return when the new jailer takes office.