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Department of Corrections Commissioner named

Current Commissioner to retire March 1

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2016) — Rodney Ballard, a 35-year career law enforcement and corrections professional, has been appointed as the new Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Rodney Ballard
Rodney Ballard

LaDonna Thompson, a 27-year veteran of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, has announced her intent to retire as Commissioner March 1.

“In Rodney Ballard, we have a professional who has extensive experience and expertise in both state and local corrections and has most recently directed operations at the Fayette County Detention Center,” said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley. “I have the utmost confidence in his abilities and look forward to working closely with him to meet the challenges of 21st century corrections.”

Ballard assumes his post on March 14.

Ballard comes to the department with decades of experience in both law enforcement and corrections. He previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Corrections for Community Services and Local Facilities from 2008 to 2012. In this position he exercised oversight for both the Division of Probation and Parole and the Department’s Division of Local Facilities, which includes state jail inspectors.

Since 2012, he has served as director of the Division of Community Corrections in Lexington, in charge of the Fayette County Detention Center with its nearly 1,300 beds and $33.5 million budget.

“I want to thank Gov. Matt Bevin and Secretary Tilley for the appointment, and I’m excited to join the governor’s justice and public safety team,” Ballard said.

Ballard began his public safety career as a police officer in Northern Kentucky before joining the Kentucky State Police in 1982 for what would be a decorated 17-year career as both trooper and investigator.

After retiring from KSP, Ballard served as chief deputy of the Kenton County Detention Center.

Ballard holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northern Kentucky University.