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SHEPHERDSVILLE - With 32 years in law enforcement, Donnie Tinnell enjoys the profession.
And, he is attempting to return to the office of Bullitt County sheriff.
This time, the battle between Tinnell and David Greenwell will be in the Republican primary in May.
Saying that the philosophies of the national party had gone in a different path, Tinnell will now run under the Republican Party flag in a rematch of 2010, when Greenwell won the general election.
“I love law enforcement,” said Tinnell, who is currently police chief for the city of Lebanon Junction. “I still feel I can make a difference.”
In looking back over his four-year term as sheriff, Tinnell said he was proud of several accomplishments.
He was able to get an officer back into the schools. During that time, Shepherdsville also returned an officer to the schools.
Tinnell is also proud of the work done by the drug task force.
To be a true task force, Tinnell said the cities need to be involved. He said the local officers are the ones who know information about the drug trade in their communities.
Despite less publicity these days, Tinnell said the drug problem is still there and it is no less critical than it was four years ago.
Over the next four years, Tinnell said he would like to restore the drug task force to a countywide, multi-agency department.
He would also like to lobby state legislators to find funding to allow for police officers in every school building.
“We should have a person in every school,” said Tinnell, who admitted funding would be the biggest challenge.
Having an officer in the school gives law enforcement a chance at avoiding a bad situation. However, police just can’t get to a school in time.
“You have to be there early,” said Tinnell, a native Bullitt Countian.
In the shooting cases, Tinnell said the issue is one of mental health, not the use of a gun.
He hopes to see all types of individuals and groups get involved to help push funding through for this project.
“It doesn’t matter what it takes,” said Tinnell. “It has to be done. It’s a big issue.”
Understanding the responsibilities of the job, Tinnell said he respects the current sheriff and is not out to run a negative campaign.
But the retired Louisville Metro detective said that he just believes he can bring more to the office.
When talking with voters, Tinnell, 64, said he has more experience and he believes that will help provide better service to the community.
The former Shepherdsville police chief said that he brings a positive attitude to the position and understands the various aspects of the job.
“People know I will work hard,” said Tinnell. “I still think I can help the community.”