Sheriff shooting for another term

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Kirkland: He and staff are committed to fairness

By Stephen Lega

Carroll Kirkland has been the sheriff since 1996, and he would like Marion County voters to help him maintain that position for another four years.

Kirkland is being challenged in the May 18 primary by Chief Deputy Jimmy Clements.

Kirkland is seeking re-election because he appreciates the opportunity to serve the community, he wrote in response to a questionnaire sent by the Enterprise.

"I want you to feel safe in knowing that you are represented by myself and a staff that is committed to fairness, hard work and dedication while making Marion County a safe, secure place to live and raise our children and our grandchildren," he wrote.

Kirkland and his wife, Betty, live in Bradfordsville. They have two children and three grandchildren. They are members of Bradfordsville Baptist Church.

Kirkland has been involved with the Heartland Drug Coalition, the Boy Scouts, the Kentucky Boys and Girls Sheriffs Ranch, the chamber of commerce and the Marion County Sportsman's Club.

Kirkland is a graduate of the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, and he has completed 40 hours of training annually. He has worked in law enforcement since 1981, when he was hired as the chief deputy in the sheriff's department.

He was appointed sheriff in 1996 by the former Marion County Judge/Executive, the late David Hourigan.

Kirkland wrote that adding more uniformed staff members will be one of his priorities.

"At this time our deputies are only 'on call' after midnight," he wrote. "As this county has grown, my office has been providing coverage with the same number of staff for the last four years."

He also wrote that he would continue to fight drug infiltration in the community. Kirkland added that increased drug use and trafficking will be one of the challenges facing the county in the next four years.

According to Kirkland, other challenges will include keeping DUI offenders off the roadways, addressing cell phone use by young drivers, and providing staffing and security for the new judicial center, which is scheduled to open later this year.

"As sheriff I want to increase patrol to protect the people, their homes, and their belongings," he wrote. "I want to better educate our young citizens on the effects of drugs and alcohol so they will make logical, mature decisions."

Kirkland stressed that staffing will be a focus, both at the judicial center and for the county as a whole.

"I will definitely keep the current deputies and staff as they have the training and experience needed to provide the services required by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and above all you the people," he wrote.

He continued to write that he is concerned about the burglaries and drug activity being reported in the community.

"This is why it is critical for us to have the appropriate size staff and resources to fight these issues," Kirkland wrote, adding that he would like to start a confidential tip line and maintain a good rapport with the Lebanon Police Department and the Kentucky State Police.

Kirkland also wanted voters to know that he has appreciated serving them.

"This election is more than just about Carroll Kirkland, it is also about my staff that serves you," he wrote. "These individuals are the unsung heroes of the Sheriff's Department. They come to work each day knowing the danger and risk of their jobs, but do so with pride and dignity."