Reasons for dispatch management move clarified
The Lake County Commissioners would like to clarify the reasons for moving management of the Lake County 911 Dispatch Center from the Sheriff’s Office to the Office of Emergency Management. Darlene Lester’s letter to the editor in the Valley Journal last week asserted that the move was taken by the commissioners after Lake County “dispatchers voted to leave the authority of the Sheriff’s Office and with County Commissioner approval were placed under the Office of Emergency Management.”
The minutes of the April 12, 2016 meeting in the commissioners’ office note that moving management of 911 dispatch to the Office of Emergency Management had been under consideration for a number of years. A committee was formed in 2012 to investigate what the benefits might be to the county if a management change was made. This committee presented to the commissioners two important reasons for moving dispatch to the Office of Emergency Management: 1) management would be more consistent as the county sheriff position is elected, and regularly changes, and 2) guidance for operation of 911 dispatch would be provided by a board which would take the politics out the decision making process. There is no mention in the minutes that the vote by the dispatchers mentioned by Ms. Lester played any part in the commissioners’ decision.
The commissioners voted unanimously to act on the recommendation of the 911 committee and in July of 2016, management of the 911 /communications/dispatch center took effect.
Minutes of the April 2016 meeting and Resolution of Intent 16-03 Regarding 911 Center and Dispatch are on file in the commissioners’ office located in the courthouse in Polson.
Lake County Commissioners