East meets West in Shelby County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

East met West in Columbiana recently when the chief of police of Vishgorod in the Ukraine took a tour of the new Shelby County Jail with Sheriff Chris Curry.

And while the tour was under way, Shelby County families were making plans to adopt a group of Ukrainian orphans.

Curry and Police Chief Leonyd Korolchuk toured the new state-of-the-art 512-bed, $17 million jail with the help of interpreter Yevgeny Rudnytsky.

Korolchuck is the husband of Galina Korolchuck, director of a Ukrainian orphanage in Ivankiv from which Shelby Countians and others are adopting Ukrainian youngsters.

The Shelby County couples are adopting such orphans brought to the United States by the Children’s Voice organization, which was founded in Wilsonville by Larry Gibson.

And Galina was in Shelby County with a group of 15 Ukrainian orphans over the Christmas holidays.

According to Larry’s wife, Anita Gibson, all but two of those orphans will be adopted. And, she said, almost all of the adoptions will be by Shelby County families.

Tony and Vickie Moore of Wilsonville are seeking Kosta, 13, and his sister, Nosta, 11, for adoption. And Larry Gibson and Anita, also of Wilsonville, are also adopting two Ukrainian brothers, Zhenia, 14, and Vataily, 10.

Police Chief Leonyd Korolchuck came along for the trip with Galina and the orphans.

Korolchuck said the technology of the new county jail was much better than in his country. And he noted that the conditions for inmates in Shelby County are better than those of the Ukraine, as well.

He also expressed interest in the pay, shift hours and work conditions of Sheriff’s Office personnel.

Through his interpreter Rudnytsky, it was explained that in the Ukraine, police employees get two years credit for one year’s work because of the hard conditions.

Along the tour Curry pointed out that the Shelby County Jail is operated 24-hours a day, seven days per week; and it averages holding 250 inmates per day.

Curry said the new jail is equipped with about 100 security cameras.

He showed the police chief the communications center where calls can be located on a computer generated map, administrative offices, the commercial laundry and commercial kitchen that can prepare and serve up to 3,000 meals per day.

Curry also showed off medical facilities and inmate living areas.

While Korolchuck’s Police Department in the Ukraine does not include a jail, he pointed out his department employs 176 people.

As it turns out, that is more than the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, which Curry said employs 168 people.

Curry said the staff includes 70 patrol officers, 12 to 15 narcotics investigators, 50 jail personnel and the rest, administrative or supervisory personnel.

Curry also showed off a section of the jail that will house 100 federal inmates and generate $1.3 million per year for the county.

Curry presented the Korolchucks, Rydnytsky, the Moores and their children Kosta, Nosta and their own son, Michael Moore, with Shelby County Sheriff’s Office medallions.

Tony and Vickie Moore have two 12-year-olds and a 19-year-old of their own and have begun the adoption process for Kosta and Nosta.

The Gibsons have a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old and a 9-month-old of their own.

Tony Moore said, &uot;I’ve heard the word orphan all my life, but until you meet a child that is an orphan you don’t know what that word means.&uot;

A meeting between East and West was nothing new for Sheriff Curry.

He said he has been to Romania twice and worked with police there.

Galina works with orphans in the Ivankiv District of the Ukraine