Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick appointed Jim Ray on Tuesday to serve as Logan County Jailer effective March 1. Ray will be serving out the term of Bill Jenkins, who recently handed in his resignation effective the end of February. Jenkins, who has served as jailer the past 17 years, is leaving his seat early saying he is ready to “ride off into the sunset” and do some traveling with his family.
“I am excited to be taking this opportunity to do something totally different in the line of law enforcement,” said Ray. “I do not plan to run for the position in the future, and thought this would be something exciting to do for the short term.”
Ray is a native of Russellville and a graduate of Russellville High School. He currently works as a deputy for the Logan County Sheriff’s Department. He served on the Russellville Police Department before accepting a job with the Kentucky State Police, from which he is now retired. Ray also served a few years as Adairville’s Chief of Police beginning in 2004. Ray will leave the sheriff’s department for the jailer position, but plans to return when the new jailer takes office after the election in November.
Ray said he was approached by judge Chick a month ago and asked if he would consider stepping in for eight months. Chick’s main goal was to appoint someone who was qualified to do the job, and also someone who was not seeking the seat.
The judge executive has the authority to appoint an elected vacancy and has 90 to do so, otherwise the responsibility lands on the governor. Chick said he didn’t think it would be fair to put one of the jailer candidates into the position, so that is what brought him to Ray.
“I thought it was the fair thing to do to appoint someone who was not running for the position this election,” said Chick.
Four are seeking the seat of jailer. A race will be held in May to decide who moves on to the final race in November. Republicans Phil Gregory and Chris Hightower will run against one another in the primary, with Democrats Wendell Jackson and Edward W. Hardin battling it out as well.
“I’ve been working in law enforcement for 32 years, mostly on the roads. I look forward to working on the administrative side of things, if only for a short time,” said Ray, who has been in many a jail across the state working for the state police.
Ray said he does not intend to change anything at the jail when he gets there. He says he feels Bill Jenkins and his staff have done a great job.
“With the job Bill has done, I don’t look to make any changes,” said Ray.
Ray is married to Sharon Milam Ray.