Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

May 6, 2014

Jail post contender tells his plans for facility

GLASGOW — Justin Kirkpatrick said he didn’t want to deliver the “same old rhetoric” to voters; he wanted to let them know what he plans to do if they elect him to be the next Barren County jailer.

He scheduled what he called an “announcement” that essentially was a press conference, as only a handful of people other than family members and media attended, for Monday afternoon in Glasgow City Hall.

Kirkpatrick, who’s been a Glasgow Police Department officer for five years, said part of the reason he set up the event was because he was the only one seeking the jailer seat who did not attend a candidate forum in Park City on April 26 that was covered by local media, and he explained to the Daily Times that it was because he was working.

He is qualified for the job because of his 18 months as a deputy jailer before his experience with GPD and serving as squad leader during his Department of Criminal Justice Training experience, plus he is involved in the community, he said.

He pointed out three things he “will accomplish” in his first 100 days as jailer.

Kirkpatrick plans to create out of his pocket two $500 scholarships for high school students planning to pursue an in-state postsecondary education, with one each for a Barren County and a Glasgow student, because a jailer must have a vested interest in the youths in the community, he said.

He would create a Deputy Jailer of the Year Award determined at least partially by a vote of jail staff that would “raise the bar of expectations for all the deputies.”

But the idea of which he’s proudest is the citizen jail committee he plans to put together. It would consist of 12 individuals in the county whom he would choose from among applicants he feels could contribute positive ideas and/or solutions for the jail. He would want the panel to be a fair representation of the county, no matter their race, sex, age or bank account, he said.

The group’s meetings would be open to the judge-executive and magistrates, he said, adding media to that list when questioned about it after he finished speaking.

“I believe this shows my commitment to run the jail with open eyes and open ears,” Kirkpatrick said, “to be in touch with the heartbeat of the county.”

At the conclusion of his speech, he showed a 30-second video advertisement that was scheduled to air for the first time on a local access channel at 5 p.m., the same time for which his announcement was scheduled.

“When I win, Barren County wins,” his voice says in the video.

Kirkpatrick said that in addition to his plan to increase in-house trainings and work in full cooperation with the judge-executive and magistrates, he is “100 percent committed to raising the public perception of the detention center.”

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