Jeff Penick, 56, West Main Street, Elkton — Republican

Below are the candidate's direct responses to the following questions:

How long have you lived in the community?

16 years

What organizations are you involved with, including how long and roles?

List civic groups, charities, churches, etc... and any leadership roles you've served (i.e. Salvation Army board member from 2003-present - treasurer, past-president).

•       Churches of Christ – Minister 28 years

•       (Rotary International) Elkton Rotary Club – 16 years, Past President, Current Secretary / Treasurer

•       Todd County Republican Executive Committee - Treasurer

•       American Legion (Post 91) – 13-year member and proud U.S. Air Force Veteran

•       Site Based Decision Making Council. (Adairville Elementary School, Adairville, KY)

•       School Board Member (Hughson Christian School – Private School, Hughson, CA)

•       Site Based Decision Making Council (Hanshaw Middle School, Modesto, CA)

Tell us about your professional experience.

•       Military Police Supervisor (5 years)

•       Management Analyst (3 years)

•       Minister (28 years)

•       School Employee (18 years). I have worked with both the Logan and Todd County school systems for a total of 18 years.  I have served as a Bus Driver, Grounds Maintenance Worker, Adult Education Lead Teacher, and currently as an Employment Specialist at Todd County Central High School.

•       Newspaper Reporter / Photographer and other duties for the Todd County Standard / Quality Web Printing business in Elkton, KY.  (4 years)

•       Formerly worked with a Juvenile Diversion Program for first time offenders.  I currently serve as one of four volunteer Chaplains associated with Todd County Emergency Services.

Tell us about your education.

Include dates when any degrees or training/certifications were completed.

•       Master’s Degree – Adult & Higher Education, Morehead State University, Morehead KY – May 2013

•       Bachelor’s Degree – Criminal Justice/Communications Major (Magna Cum Laude graduate), Amridge University, Montgomery, AL – May 2000

•       Memphis School of Preaching (Bible / Missions Major),  Memphis, TN – May 1992

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

Please be brief. Feel free to list either or both professional and personal.

My greatest military personal accomplishment was graduating top of the class of the 22nd Air Force NCO Leadership School and being offered an Instructor position after graduation.  My greatest military team accomplishment was having my unit recognized as the Best Medium Sized Police Unit in the Air Force. 

My greatest local professional accomplishment involved writing the narrative for and submitting the approved Work Ready Community in Progress Certification for Todd County.  My greatest team accomplishment was helping Todd County Adult Education be recognized as the top performing Adult Education program in the state of Kentucky for multiple years. We helped over 91 inmates earn GED diplomas and National Career Readiness Certificates.

What are the two biggest problems facing the community/county?

Please be brief and direct. Preferably answers that relate to the office you are seeking and how you will address them.

The biggest problems facing the jail in Todd County according to current and previous staff members is that the leadership has been compromised and has grown complacent.  It is time to put the “correct” in corrections.

What are your biggest campaign issues/goals?

Briefly list 2-3 issues you hope to address in the campaign and where you stand on them.

I have three issues I want to address in my campaign: Safety, Efficiency and Dependability.

I believe Jailers should be dedicated professionals committed to ensuring the safety of the people entrusted into their care.  Prisoners should be offered programs that will enable them to become productive members of society. I fully support GED and religious programs along with other evidence-based offerings. A long-term Substance Abuse Program (SAP) may be beneficial for our local facility.

I hope we can work together to break the senseless cycles that keep so many inmates repeating their crimes. Expensive jails are built to punish criminals. Yet, they can be used to help rehabilitate people that want to be rehabilitated.

PLATFORM POINT - #1 SAFETY

The safety of your family, our community, the jail staff and the detention facility are my top priorities. That safety comes by greatly limiting the inmates access to the outside world and controlling contraband. Loose supervision of work details and random searches when returning to the facility must be tightened down and corrected. Continuous & advanced training will make everyone in the jail and community safer.

Maintaining a funded and stable workforce of qualified employees also has a direct impact on local facility safety. Making key leadership changes at the Todd County Detention Center will help address the current problem of extremely high employee turnover rates.

PLATFORM POINT - #2 EFFICIENCY

Operating the jail in the most cost-effective manner possible without compromising safety is my next priority.  Revenues are generated by the jail housing “Class D” state inmates. It should be noted that the Todd County Health Department is vacating the adjoined building next to the jail to move their services into a facility on West Main Street in Elkton by Dairy Queen. I would like to explore the future potential with the Fiscal Court to determine if the connected building can be affordably and safely modified to house additional state inmates in a Substance Abuse Program (SAP). This can make the jail more financially self-sufficient by generating additional income for the county.

PLATFORM POINT - #3 DEPENDABILITY

Since the jail housing inmates cost the citizens of Todd County slightly over two million dollars each year in operational expenses, the county should expect and get dependable community service from the inmates. The community service projects the inmates can provide are beneficial to our county. Being outside and working is also good for the inmate’s own physical and mental well-being.

Why should someone vote for you?

I care about the county where I live and want to make a positive difference.  I have a diverse realm of experience of working with people involved in the criminal justice system which should be beneficial.  I enjoy setting and accomplishing goals that involve organizational improvement and excellence.  I will work cooperatively with the Fiscal Court to ensure that the jail is run in a safe, efficient and dependable manner that meets all constitutional requirements.  I will work diligently to maintain and increase state inmate related revenues for the county and seek reasonable reductions in expenditures.  I ask for your vote for the office of Todd County Jailer.

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