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Wichita County Amends Contract with City of Electra

Wichita County Commissioners made a change to their agreement with the City of Electra to payment for dispatchers.
Nearly two months ago, Wichita County sheriff's deputies started 24 hours patrols in the City of Electra.

The sheriff's office took over law enforcement duties after some Electra leaders were pushing to remove Johnny Morris as police chief, which resulted in most of the police officers on the force quitting.

Shortly after an agreement was signed for Wichita County sheriff's deputies to temporarily take over law enforcement duties in Electra all of the dispatchers quit. Once again, the sheriff's office stepped in and covered those duties.

So  Wichita County commissioners made a change to their agreement with the City of Electra.

Residents have not seen Electra police officers patrolling the streets in this town for about two months.

That job is now temporarily provided by Wichita County sheriff's deputies.

And when it comes to dispatching emergency calls from here, that is also being handled by sheriff's office employees.

So, Wichita County Commissioners have now amended their agreement with the City of Electra for payment of the dispatching costs as well as the deputies.

"What we had to do was approve them to be paid like the deputies working over there. They were paid at time-and-a-half and get them on the schedule for payment. They've been paid by the county but we'll bill Electra now for their time and continue until Electra reaches a resolution on how they want to handle their police force," says Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom.

Since the contract started in late September, Sheriff David Duke says the City of Electra has only hired one dispatcher.

And Duke says when that dispatcher is off the job is filled by sheriff's employees who volunteer to work on their days off.

"These guys have families.  They've got other part time jobs they do.  Everybody has a little niche of what they do to make extra money on the side, especially during the holidays.  So, this is really kind of burdensome on our own people as well as the people of Electra, but bottom line, we're gonna make sure everybody still has law enforcement in that part of the county and the City of Electra," says Sheriff Duke.

Sheriff's officials say they are still calculating the bill to Electra for patrols from the end of September to the end of October.

As for the billing that will include dispatchers, county officials say calculations for that will start December 9th.
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