Steuben County Communication Conflict

Published 03/07 2014 09:59PM

Updated 03/10 2014 08:15AM

 A lack of manpower, no direction and limited resources, that's how Steuben County Sheriff Tim Troyer describes the current condition of the 911 call center in his county.  

 Troyer says there's a crisis and that the public is at risk. 

 He wants control of the communications center to be turned over from the County Commissioners to the Sheriff’s Department.

However, as WFFT uncovered, the commissioners don't see eye with the sheriff and don't think there is a problem with the call center operations. 

“This has nothing to do with power or politics, it has everything to do with public safety,” said Troyer. 

Troyer says the 911 call center is understaffed, and is lacking leadership.  Currently, there are four qualified employees staffing the communications center, but Troyer says there should be 13 on the payroll.  Also, the director of the 911 call center recently informed The Sheriff that she will be resigning.

“I was elected to keep the community safe.  This is serious, it affects the safety of the public and I have the first and foremost duty to keep the people of Steuben County safe,” said Troyer. 

Troyer doesn't think he can fulfill that job  if the organization of the communications department doesn’t change. Since the early 1990's the Steuben County Commissioners have controlled and operated the 911 call center.  However, Troyer says that needs to change. He wants the Sheriff’s Department to oversee the day to day operations.

“At this point in time there is no crisis issue in Steuben County,” said Ron Smith, president, Steuben County Commissioners.  

Smith says things are running smoothly at 911 center should and that control should remain under the three commissioners.

“For he present time we are covered we have good staffed people. I have been over there and things are running well,” said Smith. 

Monday morning the commissioners will meet for a public hearing and decide who will control the call center moving forward. 

The Angola Police Chief and Steuben County Prosecutor both came out publically Friday and supported  the Sheriff’s position.

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