E911 director might get more freedom in personnel

Published 7:09 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

It appears the director of Warren County’s E911 system will be allowed to mix the number of full-time and part-time dispatchers at his disposal.

During Monday’s regular Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting, county attorney Blake Teller told the board he believes city officials are “on board” with a recommendation from the E911 Commission to change the interlocal agreement between the city and county and allow E911 Director Shane Garrard the freedom of changing how many full-time and part-time dispatchers are on staff.

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Currently, the agreement states there are 17 full-time and four part-time dispatchers.

“The mayor seems to be on board with the 911 commission presenting to both boards pursuant to the interlocal agreement an appropriate mix of full and part-time employees to be approved by each board in order to be more economically efficient and also not lose the quality of service provided with 911,” Teller said.

The commission determines what it thinks will be the best mix of employees and brings their recommendation to both the city board and county board.

Board president Richard George said the issue at the outset was Garrard being faced with the decision at different times who he could hire.

“He needs to have the latitude to hire the proper person to fit our needs and accommodate their expected work hours,” George said. “One must remember, this is emergency services; the heart of our emergency responses in Vicksburg and Warren County. In that 911 Center is where it all starts. We must work to see that we do the best we can to aid that situation. Its cost is what it’s going to be for us to accomplish that end, whether we particularly like the cost or not is not a question. It is a service to these citizens and the taxpayers of Warren County. The director will do all he can to hire people and keep it as affordable as possible. But emergency is just what it is. It’s going to happen whether you plan for it or not. You better be prepared to deal with it and that’s what the director is intending to do and that’s what this board intends to do.”

The E911 Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Warren County Board of Supervisors office boardroom on Jackson Street.