The John Day Police Department and Emergency Communications Center are both up to full staffing levels, and construction of dispatch center facilities at the city fire hall is making progress, City Manager Nick Green told the city council Aug. 28.
Interim Police Chief Mike Durr was sworn in as the city’s new police chief at the meeting. He has also taken on the duties of a school resource officer for Grant Union Junior-Senior High School.
Durr joined the John Day Police Department in April 2014 after retiring from the Oregon State Police. He received his advanced certification from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in December 2015.
He left to work for the Baker City Police Department in 2018 and then returned in April to become interim police chief during former John Day Police Chief Richard Gray’s absence.
The school resource officer position went into effect Aug. 27 following talks between Green and Grant School District 3 Superintendent Bret Uptmor. A memorandum of understanding between the city and school district will be drafted later and submitted for approval to city council and school board, Green said.
Funding for the position will be split 50/50 between the city and the school district. The additional funding enabled the city to get back up to a full staffing level of four officers, including Durr, Scott Moore, Andrew Martin and Sam Stinnett.
Stinnett, who was a corrections deputy at the Grant County Jail, started with John Day July 9. He will attend the state police academy from October through February to receive his police officer certification, Green said.
Construction at the John Day Fire Hall for the 911 dispatch center has been moving right along, Green said. A CenturyLink technician traveled from Salem to install emergency communications wiring on Aug. 29.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has approved the fire hall location for the new dispatch center and will provide $36,928 for the move from the John Day City Hall, Green said. The Intergovernmental Council will take over management of the dispatch center from John Day on Jan. 1.
The dispatch center is also up to full staff with the hiring of Ryan Palmer on Aug. 11. He will attend basic telecommunications training from Oct. 29 through Nov. 11 and emergency medical dispatch training from Nov. 12-14, Green said. Palmer will transition to management under the IGC in January.