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Knox looks to continue career as next jailer

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Election 2010

By The Staff

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - What started out 22 years as simply doing a favor for a friend has resulted in a career that Martha Weaver Knox just can’t leave.

    Now, Knox is looking to become the Bullitt County jailer.

    Knox has filed as a Democratic contender for the position which has become a wide-open race as three-term incumbent Danny Fackler will not run for re-election.

    “I feel like I am ready,” said Knox.

    Working at Old Mill Elementary 22 years ago, Knox was asked to help then-jailer Ralph Bleemel. It is a job she has never left.

    The past 11 years, Knox has served as chief deputy for Fackler and that is experience that makes her a viable candidate.

    “I have the experience,” said Knox, a native of Bullitt County. “I know the day-to-day operations of the jail.”

    She didn’t even know where the old jail was located when she started working there.

    “I liked the idea of working the people,” said Knox, who has always worked in Bullitt County.

    Knox said she knows all facets of the jail operation, which can’t be said by others.

    She worked in the old jail and when the 300-bed detention facility opened.

    She has had the chance to supervise employees and she understands the needs of both the employees and the inmates.

    In terms of goals for the next four years, Knox said getting a better wage for employees must be discussed.

    She said it is difficult to hire and to retain employees at the current starting pay level.

    Also, she wants to make sure the new employees are provided with hazardous duty retirement. Those hired after last September are not eligible for hazardous duty retirement unless fiscal court changes its mind.

    She also understands that finding ways to generate more revenue without adding expenses must be studied.

    With the current number of county employees, Knox said there really isn’t an opportunity to house a lot more state inmates. And housing federal prisoners would also not be possible due to high inmate counts.

    Over the years, the Mount Washington resident said the scope of the jailer’s job has changed. Now it is less physical and more management.

    “Everybody can’t do this job,” said Knox. “Mentally and physically it is a tough job.”

    She is proud of the jail’s record in keeping inmates safe and sound. And she believes she understands the workings of the jail.

    “I have the knowledge,” said Knox, 49. “I have the dedication. And I have 22 years of experience.”

    The graduate of Bullitt Central said she had many offers to go to other jobs but she didn’t.

    “I wouldn’t leave the jail,” said Knox. “I am dedicated to the jail.”

    Knox is hosting a campaign kickoff on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Shepherdsville Community Center behind the old city hall on Frank E. Simon Avenue.