Licking County News

Pataskala to replace police clerk with two part-timers

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The Pataskala Division of Police needs to replace clerk Lori Burkhart, who left in February after working at the department for 10 years.

"We want to hire two-part time people to expand our coverage," Pataskala Police Chief Bruce Brooks said. "We want to have some overlap in the afternoon."

Burkhart was working from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and often was required to be away from the phone, Brooks said.

If she was not able to answer the phone or if it was after 4:30 p.m., calls were forwarded to the Licking County Sheriff's Office.

"They've informed us we are their largest non-deputy use of the line," Brooks said.

To relieve some of the pressure on Licking County dispatchers, Brooks said he hopes to hire two people to work 30 hours a week.

One will work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the other could come in later and work until 6 p.m.

When both employees are in the office, one would man the phones while the other does other tasks.

"They do have some other duties that take away from the desk, like filing records," Brooks said.

"Records retention is in the basement," he said.

Brooks said the department receives a lot of calls shortly after people get home from work.

But, he said, having someone answering phones until 6 p.m. will help with the call load.

Pataskala City Council voted 6-0 (Councilman Merissa McKinstry did not attend the meeting) Feb. 19 to approve an ordinance to "create the part-time position of police clerk, to eliminate the full-time clerk position in the police department, and to authorize the hiring of two part-time clerks in the police department during calendar year 2013."

Salaries for the positions will be recommended by the mayor with council approval, according to the legislation.

Brooks said he is working with a temporary agency to fill the position until two part-time employees are hired.

Burkhart was earning $30,956.80 annually and the city was paying $26,300 for her benefits, said James Nicholson, Pataskala's finance director.

Nicholson said part-time employees are not eligible for health insurance or paid leave.

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