June 20, 2018 - Jailer Bobby Dunbar, Russell County, was named the 2018 Jailer of the year. During the Summer Conference, Bobby was awarded this prestigious honor by his fellow jailers throughout the Commonwealth. Bobby has served the people of Russell County as jailer for the last eight years. Bobby has served on the Kentucky Jailers Association Board of Directors, and currently serves as the Associations Chaplain.
In a recent interview with KACo Bobby reflected on growing up in Russell County and his time as Jailer. Below are excerpts from his interview.
How many years as Jailer?
I am in my 8thyear as Jailer. I served as a Deputy Jailer for 4 years before seeking the position I currently hold. My Dad was a 3-term Jailer, so really, I have been around the Jail approximately half of my life. I think my roots run deep in this position and I can say I love my job. I can't think of anything right now that I would rather do.
Organizations of which I am a Member of?
I am a Member of the Russell County Chamber of Commerce. I am a Member of the Russell County 911 board. I am an active Member in the Republican party. I am also a Member of the Bethesda Community Fellowship Church where I serve as a Lay Minister.
Why do you think you earned this Award?
I work as hard as I can to be the best I can be at my profession. I made a promise to be a working Jailer when I chose to pursue this office. I feel I have developed a lot of friendships with fellow Jailers and their Staff. Probably staying in close communication with fellow Jailers and their Staff went a long way in receiving this award. My goal from day one was to develop relationships with all Jailers because we are one team. However, I think there are many other colleagues who are worthy of this award. I consider myself very fortunate to have been chosen by my peers.
Tell me about your facility and staff? What makes them both stand out?
First, we went from an 18-bed life safety jail which was eventually closed. A new facility was under construction with 81-beds. The new jail had all the modern technology which was not available at the old jail. From day one we have still ran this facility with the same number of Staff with which we started, even though inmate population has increased tremendously. It is hard to find that officer who really gets the job in their blood. We face the same issues other jails face, but the majority of my Staff is starting to get some years of experience and are good to new hires as far as training them correctly.
What aspect of your detention center are you most proud of?
We have had 58 inmates to receive their GED diplomas. Also, I still have 12 of my original Staff members with me after almost 8 years. I feel we have always ran a firm but fair detention center. I told the Staff from day one that I would not ask them to do something that I wouldn't do first. I have led by example, and my Staff has followed and do what has to be done without delay to the issue. I am proud of my Staff.
What way do you collaborate with other elected county officials in your area?
I personally know every elected official in my county. I have a good working relationship with the County Judge-Executive, Fiscal Court, County Attorney, Commonwealth Attorney, and other elected officials. Without close relationships with other officials, we cannot operate the facility properly. For approximately 8 years, we have maintained a close relationship with these officials without any confrontations or major disagreements. I have all these officials contact information, and do not hesitate to call on them as needed. They also know that they can contact me 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I commend each of the officials that we all are working together in unity.