Op-Ed Provided by Steve Larson  


My name is Steven Larson, and here is why I’m running this year for Kenton County Jailer.


The Kenton County Jail has been troubled for years with issues of Excessive Force and failure to train lawsuits. This can be contributed to a lack of Deputies, uncertified instructors, improper or not actually training new Deputies, and the Deputies constant 12 hour shifts. They simply are overworked and under trained. All these factors lead to a huge decrease in moral and several Deputies have had enough and quit. In 2021 the long time Jailer retired, and an Interim Jailer was appointed.


In the year of 2021 staffing levels continued to decrease almost 50%, several inmates overdosed on drugs brought into the jail illegally, a Deputy received a career ending injury in an altercation with an inmate, and a Deputy was disarmed in an escape attempt on a medical transport at the hospital. With all this going on, the Interim Jailer failed to recruit, hire, and train Deputies to be able to provide a Safe and Secure environment for the staff and inmates. What is needed now is a fresh new and experienced person, full of energy, leadership abilities, and vision to take charge and run with it. I am just the person to do that, Steven Larson is your man to become the Kenton County Jailer in 2022.


The resolution and change to these problems require a change in the Jailer and Command Staff.  I am running for Kenton County Jailer to bring my 29 combined years of Military Service, a Police career, and Corrections experience to the Kenton County Jail and the citizens as well. I will bring the change needed to properly recruit, hire, and train the new Deputies with proper documentation and updated policies and procedures. This will reduce unnecessary lawsuits and save the county and citizens potentially millions of dollars. With a new organizational chart in the Command and Operations of the Department, there will be many opportunities for career advancement for the staff and ultimately a happy and more fulfilling career in Corrections. I am an experienced leader that listens to my staff and includes them in growth and improvements.


I am an Air Force Veteran with four years active duty, stationed in Abilene, TX and Diyarbakir, Turkey. I was discharged with an Honorable Discharge. I returned to Kentucky to begin a career as a Police Officer. During my career I have been a SWAT Officer, Sniper, drug investigator, Instructor in Use of Force and Defensive Tactics training plus many other topics.  I was successful in serving and protecting my community with a rewarding career with many recognized accomplishments.


After retiring from the Boone County Sheriff in 2008, I worked as a Security Director in the private sector. I was responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training all staff including interdepartmental promotions. I was responsible for payroll and human resource issues including all disciplinary and employee terminations. I also assisted the Regional Director with the selection, interviewing, and training of nine other Security Directors. This brought on my responsibility of managing other client accounts and managing accounts worth multi-million dollars.


In 2015 my family moved to the Ringgold, GA area where my oldest daughter went to nursing school, and I took a job with the Georgia Department of Corrections at Hays State Prison, a level 5 Max Security prison. At the prison I was a member of the CERT Team as well as becoming the Assistant Commander of the Tactical/Riot Squad. After promoting to Supervisor, I managed both isolation units of approximately 364 inmates.  I planned and supervised many special events at the prison, planned and conducted high risk transports, and coordinated 1050 inmate meals including the mass dorm movements to and from the dining hall safely.


While working at Hays State Prison I conducted many dorm inspections for Safety and Security issues as well as hundreds of dorm searches. As a member and then Assistant Commander of the Tactical Squad, I traveled to 52 different prisons to conduct mass team searches of the entire prison. The results of these many searches were thousands of homemade weapons, countless cell phones, and large quantities of various drugs, all illegally possessed inside the prison walls. Hays State prison was a violent prison for inmates to be incarcerated with several gangs present. Approximately 97% of our inmates were identified as active gang members. I personally have 5 friends that have been stabbed, one was taken hostage, beaten, and stabbed in his eye during a large riot at the prison.


I bring experiences that no other candidate has or can to the position of Kenton County Jailer. I am a versatile leader who listens and involves my staff, not just leading by dictatorship. I value the suggestions and opinions of the staff to help make the Department better and safer. I will lead the staff through the most difficult times, as well as any hazardous or violent situations they may encounter on the job. I previously promised and keep my word, that no Deputy hired will work a dorm or post without first completing a thorough and up to date corrections academy, one where I will be a part of teaching myself. I will update the policy and procedures necessary meet the current standards of providing a safe and secure environment for both staff and inmates. I will restore the staffing numbers required, so the Deputies can get back to the normal 40 hour work week allowing a more normal and routine home and family life.


Building up and training the Department is my area of expertise. Through these outlined plans of improvements, the morale and desire to work for the Kenton County Jail will improve drastically under my leadership. On May 17th, I need your vote to be Steven Larson for Kenton County Jailer. I filed first, I am the most qualified, I want to serve the staff and residents the most. Your vote will make this possible.