New jailer sworn in May 1

Judge-Executive Chuck Dills, left, swears in new jailer Troy Hagedorn on May 1, after the resignation of former Jailer Mike Webster in April.

There may be a new jailer in town, but he’s a familiar face to many local officials and law enforcement. Troy Hagedorn was sworn in on May 1 as Grant County jailer, in the wake of Mike Webster’s recent resignation.

Hagedorn was appointed by executive order to an elected position. In order to remain jailer, he would have to run in November’s general election and win, something he says he will do, “if certain things pan out and happen.”

Hagedorn was born in South Carolina, but considers himself a local as his family moved to Grant County in 1976, where he graduated from Williamstown High School in ’87. He and wife Christy, a Grant County native, have two daughters together.

“I started in the career of corrections under Jailer Louie Jump in 1990 and served in the capacity of deputy jailer …” Hagedorn says. But he wanted to focus on a career in law enforcement, so he became a patrolman with Dry Ridge Police Department two years later, when Magistrate Roger Hundley was the chief.

Then in ’94, Hagedorn became a Grant County deputy and worked for more than 20 years under Sheriffs Charlie Hudson, Randy Middleton and Chuck Dills in the capacity of deputy, sergeant and chief deputy until he retired in 2015.

“I sat out for about 90 days after retirement — I knew I’d go back into law enforcement, just didn’t know where but knew I wanted to stay in.” Former Sheriff Dills contacted him that year due to an emergency need, so Hagedorn came back to work as a court deputy as well as a school resource officer (SRO) at the high school.

“That was up until about 2018, then I was afforded the opportunity to work for Boone County Sheriff’s Office and became an SRO at an elementary school, and that’s where I’ve been up until May 1,” he says.

As for moving from a longtime law enforcement career to corrections, Hagedorn says there’s similarities between the two, but that “it’s definitely different. I feel I bring a great deal of knowledge from my background.”

When asked if he has an action plan in the works, Hagedorn says, “Absolutely, but I can’t talk about it right now … still getting my feet wet.”

He says his approach to the position has been to immerse himself in the field training required of new jail employees. “I wanted to go through the program and see how they train their people. Teach me all you can teach me, and the operations. At some point, I’ll shift gears and get into the inner-workings of management.”

Hagedorn says as far as his thoughts on overall management of the facility, “Jailer Webster did a great job. But everyone’s tired because they’re so low in staff, but he’d been doing a fine job. He decided for personal reasons to step aside …”

But Webster’s resignation letter specifically cited frustrations over low pay, leading to lack of retention and recruitment of employees. Webster’s letter also notes that in 2022, he requested that a jail committee be formed to help assist in the staffing crisis, “to produce solutions … through a realistic and functional pay scale and benefit package.”

Webster’s letter says “the ideas and suggestions tended to be either unrealistic or not appropriate with the consistent thought that 50 jail employees was not sufficient.”

“Mike and I have talked briefly, it hasn’t been in-depth. We’re friends, we’ll remain friends, tie into it as a resource. Some of what we have discussed hasn’t been in detail — he’ll tell me the problems he encountered in his own time.”

But yes, Hagedorn says — “we’re having struggles finding people to come in and work. We’re up against some obstacles and brick walls, and we’ll continue trying. We are set forth to offer up a level of constitutional care for the inmates and we’ll continue doing that.”

Hagedorn was asked about the recent talks between Grant and Scott counties, where Grant is proposing to become a more of a regional facility, housing prisoners for Georgetown as well.

“I’ve heard about the merge, but haven’t entered into any talks about it. If they are in those talks, I don’t know how far they’ve gone into them or any negotiations — that’s on my plate to find out where they are on that. …. I think it’s far off, but I’ll talk about that at some point.”

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