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911 director asked to stay



There’s a new boss at the 911 dispatching, but the changes will be few and for the best.

That’s what Sheriff Jeff Lawless said after the county commission voted to consolidate 911 dispatching under his office.

“I am pleased the commission took action,” Lawless said. “It has been talked about far too long. The public certainly wants to be able to call one number and not discuss their issues with more than one dispatcher.”

Right after the Thursday’s commission meeting where the action was taken, Lawless met with current 911 director Lonnie Best.

“I indicated I would like him to stay on as director with the operation remaining as is,” Lawless said.

Best told Lawless he would consider staying on and give him his answer later. If Best leaves, a new director will be hired, the sheriff said.

“The duties of the sheriff are all encompassing,” Lawless said. “We would have to have someone to oversee and run that operation.”

The sheriff does not anticipate any layoffs. In fact, if the sheriff takes over the dispatching for Ironton Police Department, there would be additional hirings. Lawless will meet with Best Monday to review employee schedules and he anticipates only minimal startup costs.

“Over the long-term this will help the county tremendously,” Lawless said.