Incumbent Madison County Sheriff Cecil “Dude” Cochran prides himself in increasing the force of county law enforcement and bringing the department into the age of technology. However, his two opponents want to increase the amount of technology used, as well as focus more on drug task forces and community relations.

Cecil “Dude” Cochran

Age: 73

Residence: Richmond

Occupation: Madison County sheriff, former Madison County deputy sheriff

Political experience: Madison County Sheriff since 1982

Web site:

Cochran received a great deal of encouragement from his supporters to run again for sheriff, he said. He has taken the Madison County Sheriff’s Department from having four road deputies to 12 and has helped provide vehicles for each deputy, as well as modern technology for the department.

“We didn’t have any equipment when I first began (in 1982),” he said. “All the deputies and the sheriff had to provide their own vehicles. It was the first time in Madison County history where everybody had their own vehicles. I’ve helped increase the amount of equipment and we now have laptops in all vehicles.”

Cochran also prides himself in the amount of taxes collected since he has served as sheriff.

“We’ve always had 97 to 98 percent of collected taxes,” Cochran said. “We’ve collected over $400 million in taxes and the county has always had very favorable audits.”

He also helped administer a 24-hour department that would be able to serve the community at any time of day.

If re-elected, Cochran hopes to keep the department moving in the right direction.

“I’m still pushing for more deputies and more equipment,” he said. “As the county has grown in population over the years, it’s hard to keep up, but we keep striving every year.”

Eddie Goode

Age: 42

Residence: Union City

Occupation: Major over Patrol Division, Richmond City Police

Political experience: No previous political experience

Web site:

Goode wants deputies to get back in touch with the community they serve, he said, adding that the department needs to have a bigger voice in the community in order to best serve the citizens of the county.

“I’m a community-oriented policing instructor and I deal with a lot of partnerships,” Goode said. “We need to get the community to become involved. We need more visibility in the community and we need to commit to getting aquatinted with each other,” he said.

Goode views attaining the sheriff’s position as a way to make positive changes in the community, he said.

“I feel like I have enough training and experience and I feel like now is the time to do it,” he said. “I wanted to make a change and feel like I have a lot to offer the county.”

He has training as an accident reconstructionist, which is something he says the sheriff’s department has been working without.

“There’s no reason as to why we shouldn’t have qualified deputies right at our back door,” he said. “Currently, there is no narcotics section and we need people who can investigate these cases.”

Goode has campaigned door-to-door in several areas of the county and has heard many complaints regarding the sheriff’s department’s dispatching system.

“Some of the things people are complaining about is that their calls aren’t being answered and everybody deserves the opportunity to be heard,” he said. “Everything the sheriff’s department does needs to be 100 percent.”

If elected sheriff, Goode hopes that the community feels welcome to give their opinions.

“I want to present myself as being open to the public,” he said. “I enjoy talking to people and hearing their concerns. Everyone should have an avenue to have their concerns addressed.

Nelson O’Donnell

Age: 54

Residence: Richmond

Occupation: Retired Kentucky State Police trooper, retired Madison County sheriff’s detective

Political experience: No previous political experience

Web site:

O’Donnell takes a strong stand on the need for a policy and procedures manual for the sheriff’s department. His other focuses include developing a better working relationship with other surrounding law enforcement agencies and working harder to combat the drug abuse epidemic that is rapidly spreading across the state.

“The deputies need to he held to a higher state of accountability,” O’Donnell said. “At the same time, this will decrease civil liability. The sheriff’s office needs a chain of command so that there will be no incidents that are not supervised.”

O’Donnell also wants to cooperate with Berea and Richmond law enforcement, as well as Kentucky State Police to start a drug task force.

“I would like to see four full-time officers available to combat the drug problem and have a deputy assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s task force,” he said. “Having worked as a detective for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, I have seen firsthand a steady increase in methamphetamine production and abuse in our county and it’s destroying lives, families and communities. We can do this with forfeiture assets that will be put into a special account as operational funds. It is my hope that the drug task force will become totally self-sufficient.”

O’Donnell’s training and experience will help take the department into the 21st century as a professional law enforcement agency, he said.

“My reason for running is based entirely upon my views of where the sheriff’s department is and where it should be in the future,” O’Donnell said. “If elected, I will be the sheriff for the people of Madison County. This includes Democrats, Republicans, black or white. Also, those who have supported my opposition will also be treated with impartiality.”

• The Madison County Sheriff makes $89,152.94 per year plus $3,600 for expenses and $3,500 for 40 hours off training, for a total of $$96,25.94, according to the University of Louisville Kentucky Data Center.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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