Commissioners Table Discussion of Sheriff's Request

TOPEKA, Kan. - The discussion of whether Shawnee County thinks the Sheriff's Office should be able to take over County Emergency Communications is being put off for a week.

Sheriff Richard Barta Thursday asked Shawnee County Commissioners if they would table the discussion of the proposal for his office to take over the center. Barta said he will be out of town the week it was originally to be discussed.

Commissioners voted 2-1, with Commissioner Vic Miller dissenting, to grant the sheriff's request and put the item on the July 7th agenda.

Barta is proposing the Sheriff's Office take over as head of the center when Director Bill Singer retires on July 31st.

Sheriff Barta says his office would be able to maintain the quality the emergency center provides.

"It's a professional organization," he said. "The communications center has professional people and we looked at it and we thought as a sheriff's office we could continue to maintain that same level of professionalism if we would be involved in the management."

Barta says he will drop his proposal if the management board in charge of the center, county commissioners or city council members do not want his office to take control.

"I asked for full support of the commissioners as well as the management board and if there was any disagreement with that then I would withdraw my proposal," said Barta. "When you go into something like this you don't want to have it being adversary overall, you want everybody to work together as partners and provide the best service you can."


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