Corrections officer finds unexpected career path

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cathy Covix hadn’t planned to work in a county jail, or in corrections at all.

But she loves it.

The Flemingsburg resident started working at the Clark County Detention Center with Kellwell Foods, but transitioned to become a deputy jailer about two years ago.

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“I wasn’t looking for it, but I love it,” Covix said. “Every day is something new.”

No two days are the same, though elements repeat.

“You come in and do a head count,” she said. “Every hour you do a count.”

Beyond that, all bets are off.

“You’ll serve trays, do sick call, med passes,” she said. “You’ve got court. We do church on Sundays. You transport prisoners to different facilities. It’s just whatever they need you to do.”

It’s taken a lot of training, and training is ongoing, to become a deputy jailer.

Like police officers and deputy sheriffs, they can carry pepper spray and Tasers, but only after being on the receiving end of both, she said.

“You have to be physically Tazed and sprayed to carry them,” she said. “It’s an experience you’ll never forget. I don’t know which I’d rather do again. Probably neither. (Pepper spray) keeps burning.”

With the jail routinely hosting more than 200 prisoners from Clark County, other counties and some serving state sentences, there are a lot of different problems and a lot of different situations among the population, she said.

Hearing those stories, she said, is one of the better parts of her job, she said.

“There’s people that’s lost everything due to addiction,” she said. “I never want to face that. I enjoy being able to talk to people. I treat people the way I want to be treated. If (prisoners) come to me and talk to me about something, I listen.”

The best part, she said, is the job and the environment.

“This is home to me,” she said. “The people I work with are the best.”

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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