Amy Henley-Roell running for jailer - a nontraditional office for a woman.
Update - Amy Henley-Roell finished third in a field of six candidates with 251 votes. The winner, Chad Barber, is the son of deceased Hickman County jailer Joe Barber. Chad received 425 votes. Second to Barber was Allen Poole with 342 votes.
Amy Henley-Roell is a candidate for Hickman County Jailer. It’s a job that many might think of as a “man only” kind of work. Henley-Roell disagrees. She’s worked at the Hickman County Detention Center for five years and she feels strongly it’s a job she can do. She and fellow jail employee, Latonia Mason, are on the ballot to be the next Hickman County Jailer.
She is working hard to convince Democratic voters to agree with her on May 20th. Door to door campaigning is time consuming because she likes to hear from the voters, They have a lot to say about the situation with the jail. Voters have lots of questions and opinions on what can be done to keep the facility open.
Henley-Roell has ideas to get the facility more financially solvent. She wants to do more networking her fellow jailers. She sees that there are savings in operation that can be made without sacrificing health and safety. She says she “loves going to pick up prisoners” a duty which is part of her job. She says she always learns something when she visits other facilities. She wants to bring that learning to the job of jailer.
While it is unusual for a woman to hold the position of jailer, Amy says there are eight female jailers in Kentucky. Six run functioning jails. Two are transportation officers, serving in counties that have no jails of their own. If Hickman County closes its jail, that’s what the new jailer will be. The salary will be commensurate with that duty, dropping from around $60,000 a year to $25,000.
There have been rumors that if that happens, some candidates will drop out. She will not be one of them. Whatever the job is, she says, she is prepared to do it.
Henley-Roell, in her early forties, is a native Hickman Countian and the mother of three. Her oldest daughter is married with Amy’s first grandchild on the way. Her only son, Thomas, is a student at MSU. Her youngest daughter is a high school student at Hickman County High School.
Candidates on the May Democratic ballot are Allen Poole, Tom Dixon, Chad Barber and Dale Courtney, Latonia Mason and Amy Henley-Roell.