Emergency Workers Call for More Help

8 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Monday, May 14 2012 May 14, 2012 Monday, May 14, 2012 2:43:00 PM CDT May 14, 2012 in News
By: Alex Dunn

COLUMBIA - Workers at the Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications told city and county officials Monday they need more help doing their jobs. The meeting took place following last week's dismissal of department director Zim Schwartze. Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes dismissed Schwartze Wednesday, citing tight budget problems.

In Monday's meeting, Joe Piper, acting director, said the department is struggling.

"Joint communications is struggling in operational and channel overloading. This affects the usage and affects response. We're sinking," said Piper.

Piper called the amount of staff he has "limited." Piper said joint communications has 29 employees, but needs 43 to work efficiently.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said he wants to fill the emergency management director position. Another option discussed included appointing a task force to look at the arrangement as quickly as possible.

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