Delaware County commissioners on Thursday hired a retired Dayton police captain as the new interim Delaware County 911 Director.
Barbara Temple will make about $60,000 a year to help run the 911 center, which also oversees all emergency communications equipment in Delaware County. Temple, who currently works as a private consultant, previously ran the Miami County 911 center, which Delaware County used as a model in setting up its own operation. Her job will be part time, and her term is indefinite, although 911 officials have said they will consider setting a timeline to find a permanent 911 director early next year.
Temple will begin work with the county next Tuesday, Oct. 18.
The commissioners’ vote follows the recommendation of the Delaware County 911 board, which selected Temple to oversee Delaware County’s emergency communications earlier this week.
Delaware City Manager Tom Homan and police chief Russ Martin expressed their support for Temple’s hiring, which follows a recommendation the Delaware County 911 board made earlier this week. Both officials sit on the 911 board.
Martin and Homan also praised commissioners’ cooperation, which is significant since county/city political relations have not always been so copacetic. The two entities fought for years toward a plan to combine their respective 911 operations until the effort was finally completed last year.
“This plan I think will provide the direction and leadership that is needed for the center to put us on the right footing going forward,” said Homan.
Commissioners will at a future meeting vote to follow another 911 board recommendation to appoint Jay Sommerville, director of technical services for the Dublin Police Department, as a technical consultant for Delaware County. Somerville’s position with the county will be temporary, and he will be contracted through Dublin.
The 911 director position opened up following the resignation earlier this month of former director Bob Greenlaw in the midst of an investigation into discrimination complaints made by three female 911 employees whose positions were eliminated.
A county-financed investigation found that while the women’s jobs weren’t eliminated to punish them, Greenlaw made inappropriate sexual comments that contributed toward a hostile work environment.
Commissioner Dennis Stapleton said he hopes Delaware County 911 services will eventually be a truly consolidated countywide operation. As it stands, Delaware County Sheriff Walter L. Davis III employs 911 dispatchers who work in the same room as commissioners’ 911 employees.
“I know the sheriff isn’t in favor of (a total 911 consolidation) right now, but hopefully we can push that forward in the next three years. I think it would better serve the people of Delaware County,” Stapleton said.
In other business, commissioner Ken O’Brien said Champaign County commissioners are considering pulling its support of a juvenile jail that they share with Delaware, Madison and Union counties.
O’Brien said a Union County commissioner and he are both concerned that if Champaign County pulls out, it could begin a domino effect. CYOC leaders are trying to organize a meeting for commissioners with all four counties next week to discuss the possibility.
“I would hope they would look at the long-term financial situation, and not just the short term,” O’Brien said.