Proposal would add six hires to serve as dispatchers

A total of six new hires are proposed for the Emergency 911 Center to work as dispatchers, serving Columbus and Bartholomew County. Director Todd Noblitt explained his proposal during Monday night’s work session of the Bartholomew County Council.

Noblitt noted that, according to some metrics, the E-911 center should have 29 to 52 dispatchers. Currently, he has 24. In addition, Noblitt notes that the same number of dispatchers have seen a 52 percent increase in calls.

Noblitt’s hiring proposal includes two hires this July, two in January of 2020 and the final pair in July of 2020. He explains that these hires will allow him to have one dispatch position covered year-round. Estimated costs, including salaries and benefits for these new hires, would be $73,000 for this year and approximately $378,000 in 2020. Under an inter-local agreement between the city and the county, Columbus will pay for 55 percent of these costs, while the county will cover the remaining 45 percent.

County council took no action, but Noblitt is scheduled to give a similar presentation to the Columbus City Council on Wednesday for a vote. County council is scheduled to take up the matter at it’s meeting next week. Both bodies would need to agree on the proposal before any hiring can take place.