Management structure to change at 911 dispatch

Friday, May 20, 2011

A retirement at the 911 dispatch center has director Dave Costin rethinking his management structure.

Costin advised the county council and commissioners this week that he would like to rework his management structure following the retirement of his assistant director.

Currently, Costin has an assistant, two supervisors and a crew of regular dispatchers. Under his proposed plan, the extra money that goes to the assistant would be divided among the two supervisors and two new positions known as senior dispatchers.

The plan does not add any new positions to the department, it simply reworks the way money is distributed.

Costin said it would help ease the load on the managers, who rotate weeks of being on call in which they must fill in for any vacancies caused by sick days or personal days.

Both boards approved, but several council members advised Costin he must rewrite the job descriptions for these four positions. In this way, this is not simply a pay raise, but a change in the job description.

Costin said he would change the descriptions and present them to the county commissioners.

The council also discussed the issue of compensatory time with Costin. Because his department must be staffed with two people at all times, the comp time sometimes becomes excessive. Currently, the county owes Costin's retiring employee for 500 hours of comp time.

Council members said they would like to work with the department to see what can be done to reduce comp time. Jay Fogle said a root cause analysis might be in order to see what the problem is.

"I don't think the manning level is proper for that department," Fogle said.

"It sounds like there's more demand than there is supply," Phil Gick agreed.

Costin said hiring more part-time employees could help alleviate the problem, but it's something that they deal with in the winter and in times of significant turnover.

The council and commissioners also approved hirings in the following departments:

* Two full-time positions in 911 dispatch.

* One full-time and part-time cook at the jail.

* One full-time position in the prosecutor's office.

* One part-time position in the recorder's office

All of the hirings are in existing positions.

The sheriff's department reported having received a grant from the Department of Justice for 55 bulletproof vests, enough for all full-time and reserve officers.

The county must pay the approximately $40,000 up front, but will be reimbursed once the DOJ receives the invoice.

The new vests will be up to the new standards that came into effect nine months ago.

"We need to protect our officers, and this is one way to do it," councilor Larry Parker said.

The council approved fronting the money with the understanding it will be reimbursed.

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