Jailer to retire after two decades
by Jack Latta
PRESTONSBURG — Longtime Jailer Roger Webb will step down from his position next week, after 20 years of service.
Webb confirmed to Times staff Tuesday that he is in fact retiring as of April 30, and will leave the responsibility of running the jail to Cheyenne McKinney, who Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall is expected to appoint to the position next week.
Webb said that after his many years of service, he will try to enjoy retirement.
“While our health is good, we’re gonna start getting getting some rest and relaxation time,” Webb said, while admiting the transition might be an adjustment.
“(I’ll) probably go stir crazy after a while, being use to the 24/7 jail business,” Webb said. “I’ve really enjoyed my job. I know I’m going to miss it.”
Prior to becoming jailer, Webb served as a police officer for both the city of Prestonsburg and Kentucky State Police.
Webb became jailer in 1993, following on the heels of Lawrence Hale’s retirement after three decades as jailer.
“Between Lawrence and me, we have over half a century in the office,” Webb said. “That’s probably a state record.”
According to Chris Waugh, Floyd County Clerk, there were 14 candidates for Jailer in the 1992 election.
Roger said that much has changed at the jail since he first took over the position. “We went from housing 30 and 40 inmates to 200 in the new one.”
“These past several years, the drug situation has just gotten way out of… its an epidemic,” Webb said. “The bad part about drugs is it’s a disease. These chemicals get a hold on them. They’re good people, but it’s hard to get away from it.”
During Webb’s tenure, Floyd County constructed a new jail behind the old courthouse, which has gone from underutilized, to over capacity, as drug and drug-related crimes have risen. Webb says the new emphasis on home incarceration has helped reduce numbers and costs. Webb estimates that the number of prisoners being housed outside the county has dipped by one-third in the last six months.
“[We’re] doing everything we can on early releases and probation and stuff like that,” Webb said.
As overcrowding has become the norm, the jail has been a financial albatross for the county, running over budget by nearly $1 million the last two years.
Webb says he has tried to help McKinney, who will take over the office on May 1, ready himself for the job.
“I told him I would be there to help him anyway I could, not only for him but for the people of Floyd County.”
McKinney will be appointed by Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall to fulfill the remainder of Webb’s term. The next jailer’s election will be in May 2014, when all county officials must again seek re-election.
Webb says he has enjoyed his work and is grateful to the people of Floyd County for trusting him with the job for so long.
“Enough can’t be said about the good people of Floyd County for electing me five times to jailer,” Webb said. “I hope I have fulfilled their expectations.”
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