County commissioners hired two new judicial commissioners Monday night bringing the total up to eight after losing two who resigned.
Hired were Herb Rowland and Dawn Cantrell to be as-needed, fill-in judicial commissioners. They were chosen from approximately 30 applicants, with five brought in for interviews Monday night.
“We had a good group of applicants this time,” said Policy and Personnel Committee chairman Ken Martin. “We usually do. I wish we could hire all five that we interviewed, but we can’t. They are all highly qualified individuals.”
Rowland retired last year after a 40-year law enforcement career.
“After 40 years I know all about writing warrants,” he said. “Back when I was hired by the department, we wrote our own warrants. That was before judicial commissioners. My brother, Gerald, was hired as a judicial commissioner last month.”
Herb retired in March 2011.
“I just want something to do,” said Rowland. “I want to keep busy. I do a little farming on the side with cattle and horses, but it doesn’t take up all my time.”
Prior to the interview process, Martin says he checked on a possible conflict between hiring brothers to be judicial commissioners.
“Just in case someone was wondering, I checked with the county’s attorney about a possible conflict. There isn’t one. There is no problem with hiring him as a judicial commissioner, especially since he will only be a fill-in.”
Cantrell is a biology and science teacher at Warren County High School. She has held that position almost 10 years.
“I enjoy new situations,” said Cantrell. “This will be a learning experience for me, a new challenge. If I can also give back to the community by being a judicial commissioner, it’s all the better.”
Cantrell works with Hilda Martin, a current judicial commissioner.
“I don’t have any experience as a judicial commissioner, but I work with Hilda and the SROs at the high school. I feel like I know what the job requires.”
It is not required to have prior knowledge of the position as the county offers intensive training prior to individuals being allowed to write warrants, according to Martin.
“You’re not ready until you say you are ready,” he said. “That way, I feel comfortable with cutting you loose. We will continue training until you feel ready.”
Two fill-in judicial commissioners were recently hired and trained. However, after the resignations of two regular judicial commissioners, those individuals went from fill-ins to filling regular shifts prompting the county to begin the hiring process again.
“We have 168 hours during the week to fill,” said Martin. “With these two, we have eight judicial commissioners. That’s what we need. Right now, we have some who are working a lot of hours.”
Rowland and Cantrell must be accepted by the full Warren County Commission.