SECRETS OF THE EDGAR COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE REVEALED…Part 8 (I think)
I had said, after the primary was over, that I was not going to write any more of these. I felt that I had said everything that needed to be said, although I could have said much, much more.
I also said that I knew that there would be repercussions from my posts. There are, in today’s Beacon News. I have to ask, what took you so long?
I said in one of my posts that I understand the 911 coordinator is angry that her boyfriend/husband was unseated by Sheriff Motley. I get that. My feelings would be hurt too. I also knew that the GEMS (those poor souls suffering from generational entitlement mentality syndrome) would not like what I wrote any more than they like what the Edgar County Watchdogs write. Its okay. I knew what they are before I wrote what I wrote.
However, I do have this annoying thing about the truth. So lets talk about the the Beacon News article.
First, no one, not Sheriff Motley, and not anyone else forced the 911 coordinator to move her office to the courthouse. She made that decision soon after Sheriff Motley took office. It is true that the Sheriff made several changes when he walked in the door. He did walk in the door with State Troopers and dogs. Did that make her feel uncomfortable? He did start locking doors that had not previously been locked. Did that make her uncomfortable? He did put a stop to inmates coming and going as they pleased. Maybe that made her uncomfortable? I just don’t know. Those things made me feel more secure and they should make the community feel more secure.
The second misconception that I would like to address is the 911 coordinator’s supervisory role over the dispatchers. The dispatchers have always worked for the Sheriff and been directly supervised by the Sheriff. It was that way when I started 13 years ago and it is that way today. I was hired by Sheriff Farnham. I did not even meet the 911 coordinator until after I started and then was told by the coordinator that she was not my supervisor. I do believe she had some supervisory power when Crippes was Sheriff, but not before then.
The next issue that received a lot of print was a rude dispatcher. I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I am pretty sure that they were referring to me. Okay, so lets go through this again. 911 is for emergency calls only.
For 16 hours of a 24 hour day, there is ONE dispatcher on duty. Most of the time there is two from 4pm to midnight. 911 only pays for 8 hours of dispatch (when there are two dispatchers) out of a 24 hour day. However, 911 calls are answered 24 hours a day. The lone dispatcher is often handling multiple calls, plus radio traffic from emergency personnel and the deputies. Now add in business line calls. My point is, when someone calls 911 and does not have an emergency, they are tying up the dispatcher and the 911 call when someone else may be facing a true threat to life or property. Yes I am short with people when they mis-use 911. If they want to take that for being rude, so be it. I, personally, think it is even more rude to call 911 to report that you backed into another vehicle and dented your car in a public parking lot in the middle of the day when someone else may be calling 911 to ask for an ambulance because their baby is not breathing.
Lets look at this another way. Your tax money goes to support 911. It also goes to fund roads, bridges, the local hospital (think medicare and medicaid), fire depts, ambulances, and police to name a few. That does not mean that one can use these resources in any manner one chooses. Lets say your child’s birthday is coming up and he loves firetrucks. Think you can go borrow one for the party? Your tax money is funding it. You wouldn’t even consider asking. Why because that firetruck has to be available for an emergency. Next time you move, see if you can borrow an ambulance. We all know it would be ludicrous to even think about it. The ambulance has to be available (even on a slow day) to answer emergency calls. Having a garage sale? What if it rains? Move it into the hallway at the ER. Of course you wouldn’t. That space has to be accessible for the ER staff to do their jobs properly. 911 is an emergency resource much like the ER, the fire department, the police, and the ambulance service. It is not justifiable to use it in any way one chooses just because it is supported by tax dollars.
I hope I made my point in a kind and gentle way. If not, I will tell you, when you call 911 with a non emergency, that you need to call the Sheriff’s Office or the Paris PD on their business line. Take a few moments to look up the numbers and put them in your phone or next to your phone. Just a couple more things, I said before that I have always, told people that they cannot use 911 for non-emergency calls. Until I wrote in support of Sheriff Motley, it was not an issue. Not when Farnham was Sheriff and not when Crippes was Sheriff. One last thing, at least for now.
To my knowledge, no dispatcher, ever, has instructed any 911 call to call the fire department themselves. The only instance that I could ever conceive of that happening is if the person called 911 to report that they had a recreational fire (not a 911 emergency) and was told that they also needed to notify the fire department.
In closing, the dispatchers at the Sheriff’s office do not work for 911 nor have they ever. This one never will. I absolutely, positively refuse. If there is an issue with the way your call was handled, please do call the Sheriff (465-4166). He does want to know and will take appropriate action after listening to the call and gathering all of the facts.