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Commissioners to start working 8-hour shifts
Commissioner Ken Martin

Warren County commissioners are instituting shifts for judicial commissioners. The measure has been under consideration for years.
“I don’t want to lose any of the judicial commissioners, but I personally feel like they need a set schedule they work,” said Commissioner Ken Martin. “I can’t keep up with them the way they’re working. They switch around.”
The push for shifts was made during a county Policy and Personnel Committee meeting Tuesday. Martin is chairman with members Carlene Brown, Wayne Copeland and Tommy Savage. Commissioner Charles Morgan was absent.
Martin recommended that Monday thru Friday will have three, 40-hour shifts. On Saturday and Sunday, there would be three 8-hour shifts, or two 12-hour shifts.
Martin expressed concern that one or two of the nine judicial commissioners who work minimal hours due to them having full-time employment elsewhere might not be able to work an entire shift.
“I’m afraid when we do that that we might lose one or two,” he said. “I’m not advocating that they leave. I don’t want them to leave. We could use them as fill-ins or something. However, if we do lose some, we can get by easily with six people working shifts. We have nine right now.”
Currently, judicial commissioners are considered full-time, part-time and fill-in. There is no real structure as to who works when because they are allowed to swap shifts and that is leading to a problem of not knowing who is supposed to be on call to sign warrants at the jail.
“Emergency 911 is my biggest problem,” said Martin. “They can’t keep up with who’s there and they need to know. It’s important that you have a commissioner who will be there in 15 minutes. The scheduling is a mess.”
County judicial commissioners used to be on shifts. Martin says he takes full responsibility for the situation.
“It used to be on shifts,” said Martin. “I don’t know how it got into the mess that it’s in. I’ll take responsibility for that because I was dumb when I took it over. I didn’t know what I was doing. I don’t know if I know now, but I’ve worked hard at it and I’ve tried. I really have. It’s something every day that comes up with judicial commissioners. It’s mostly the scheduling, almost all the time.”
Committee members unanimously agreed to institute Martin’s proposal for shifts, as well as allow him to contact each of the judicial commissioners to determine which person would be taking which shift.