Dispatchers at the Plumas Sheriff’s Office are getting stretched thin as pandemic and wildfires have had a measureable impact on staff. Sheriff Todd Johns takes the fall suggesting much of the impact is related to his lack of administrative structure during the wildfires. The sheriffs department has lost half of its dispatchers, leaving 4 to cover the 7 day 24 hour shifts. So far the reduced staff has yet to lead to any interruption of service as the department has been reaching out into other departments to fill the need with even former dispatchers stepping back into the role. Competitive wages are also a factor to keeping people employed in the department, yet this is nothing new according to Plumas Supervisor and former Sheriff Greg Hagwood. Rural counties for decades have faced the issue of competing with other sheriff departments that can provide higher wages in more populated areas. Hagwood said the county is working on a solution to make an agreement on wage increases however it comes as a cost to the county through increased insurance premiums. In the meantime dispatchers continue to serve and provide 24 hour service for 911 emergencies.
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