Lincoln County hires 3 full-time emergency dispatchers

Thu, 02/23/2023 - 8:45am

    The days of creative scheduling due to short-staffing may be over for Lincoln County Communications Center Director Tara Doe. On Feb. 21, county commissioners approved hiring three new full-time dispatchers, leaving the center with only one dispatching vacancy. Two candidates are new hires who recently passed their background checks. Rhiannon Hersey of Harpswell is a graduate of a criminal justice academy. “She is eager to get started,” Doe said. Hersey starts March 8. 

    The second new hire is Michael Johnson, a retired military air traffic controller. Doe is trying to schedule his training, so there is no scheduled start date. Emily Bohan is a reserve county emergency dispatcher. She asked to transition to full time. Doe reported the center has a supervisor vacancy. 

    In other matters, commissioners extended one-year contracts with five Kennebec County towns for emergency dispatching services. County Administrator Carrie Kipfer said Farmingdale, West Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner agreed to a 12.75% contract rate increase. Commissioners also renewed recycling contracts with Warren, Windsor, Pittston, Georgetown and Tri-County Transfer Station in Union for one year with a 6% increase.

    Lincoln County has also extended its  contract with the Addiction Resource Center. Under the agreement, Lincoln pays $178,860 for contracting with two full-time recovery coaches who work with Two Bridges Regional Jail inmates on substance abuse problems. Sheriff Todd Brackett said the contract increased by 9%. “It’s one of the most successful programs we have reducing recidivism. It’s up about $14,000 which is mostly due to wages,” he said. Brackett told commissioners the sheriff’s department could use grant money in offsetting the increase. 

    The sheriff also received commissioners’ approval for out-of-state travel for detective child sex abuse and physical abuse investigating training. The department will send a detective to a national justice training academy in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The training takes place April 3-7. Commissioners also renewed shellfish contracts with Newcastle and Damariscotta. 

    The Registry of Deeds continues its digitization project by transferring records from 1858 to 1883. Commissioners agreed to pay IQS to scan the images from county documents into digital images. Commissioners authorized paying IQS of Syracuse, New York $6,856.96 to scan 54 books. Kipfer explained besides preserving the historical documents, the digitized documents could be found on the county website. She added the county deeds surcharge account would pay for the project.

    Commissioners agreed to a funding request from Merrymeeting Adult Education which provides services to TBRJ  inmates. Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties agreed pay one-third of the annual $12,802 operating cost. Merrymeeting provides inmates with a Hi-Set (formerly GED) learning lab, book club and college transitioning. 

    Commissioners appointed Chief Deputy Rand Maker as a full member to the Two Bridges River Regional Jail Authority board. Maker previously served as an alternate. 

    Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 14 in the courthouse.