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NAME: Kim Wolfe
CANDIDATE FOR: Cabell County Magistrate Division 4
PARTY: Nonpartisan race
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/cabellcountymagistratewv/
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: Marshall University, B.A. – Criminal Justice Continuing Education Includes: FBI Law Enforcement Training School; Northwestern University; United States Park Police Equestrian Training Academy; Royal Canadian Mounted Police Academy; Huntington High School
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Bailiff, Kenova City Court
OTHER WORK HISTORY: 26 years on the Huntington Police Department; 8 years as Sheriff of Cabell County: Chief Law Enforcement Officer, responsible for operations of the Cabell County Jail and overseer of county tax office; 4 years as Mayor of Huntington overseeing the Huntington Police Department during which time there was a 40% reduction in crime; 5 years as Deputy Chief of Operations of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority overseeing ten jails; Interim Administrator of Southwestern Regional Jail and Western Regional Jails; WV Certified Prevention Resource Officer
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: National Association of Chiefs of Police, Fraternal Order of Police Gold Star Lodge 65 President and Chaplain, Rotary Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1064, Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 16, Bishop – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Don’t Horse Around With Drugs, U.S. Anti-Terrorist Advisory Council, National Task Force on Community Preparedness and Response
ENDORSEMENTS: Fraternal Order of Police Gold Star Lodge #65
FAMILY: Wife of 40 years, Deborah. Ten children (8 natural, 2 adopted). Eighteen grandchildren.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I have been fortunate throughout my life to be able to be of service to my family, community and nation. I served in Vietnam, attended Marshall University on the G.I. bill, then served on the Huntington Police Department for 26 years, followed by service as Sheriff of Cabell County, in the Mayor’s office of the City of Huntington and in several capacities with the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority. While serving and balancing family, church and community I have tried to be honest, professional, compassionate and to treat everyone with whom I have come into contact with respect. Experience counts!
1. What steps might improve the workings of the courts?
We need better initial evaluation/screening processes. While many offenders require incarceration, non-violent offenders might be better addressed through counseling, rehab, home-confinement and public service instead of traditional incarceration in our over-crowded and slow-moving jail system. Providing a holding facility or bonding out to allow time for proper assessment and access into more productive programs would be better.
2. Do you believe you have the temperament to be on the bench? Explain.
Yes! A lifetime of public service in law-enforcement and criminal justice capacities, military and church service, raising ten children and being grand-parent to eighteen (so far!), and especially extensive interaction and service with persons of many different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds instills a tremendous amount of knowledge, patience, wisdom and understanding which will be invaluable in serving on the bench.
3. How do you feel about accepting contributions to your campaign? Do you feel this creates a conflict of interest or an appearance of impropriety if you are elected?
There are very specific campaign rules and laws which have been carefully developed to protect us from impropriety, as long as these guidelines are perfectly followed and properly reported. It is unfortunate that it is necessary to have financial support to make a bid to serve our community, but we do keep our campaign spending to a minimum.
4. Would you favor or oppose a system in which all sentencing decisions were routinely reported in the local paper, indexed by the name of the judge? Explain why or why not.
My initial reaction is yes, I would, due to my personal desire for transparency. However, I have concerns about situations in which individuals might be erroneously charged, and while such charges might be dismissed as unfounded, if the charge was published in the media, the individual’s reputation would be forever sullied. There must be checks and balances to protect citizens.
5. What do you believe to be the root causes for the high numbers of juvenile offenders? What changes can the court system make to reduce these numbers?
I believe the primary cause is a breakdown in the family unit. Better access and funding for family education and counseling would go further than incarceration, as will continuing an emphasis on accountability and public service. Facilitating and encouraging less bureaucratic red tape and expense in adoptions and support and close monitoring of positive fostering would also be helpful.
6. What kinds of experience do you have with law enforcement or the law profession?
26 years Huntington Police Department; 8 years as Sheriff of Cabell County with responsibility for operations of the Cabell County Jail; 4 years Mayor of Huntington overseeing the Huntington Police Department during which time we had a 40% reduction in crime; 5 years as Deputy Chief of Operations of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority and interim jail administrator…
7. How would you weigh addressing the growing jail population with public safety?
As a former jail administrator, expediency in moving offenders through the court system is critical so that they are not being held in regional jails for extended periods of time. Non-violent individuals might be better managed through home confinement, rehab, counseling, etc. relieving the jail system of some of the issues of overcrowding, better protecting the public from violent offenders.