NewsLocal NewsRavalli County


Ravalli County short staffed, looking for 911 dispatchers, detention officer

Ravalli County is in need of one detention officer and more 911 dispatchers to ensure safety for the community and for inmates.
Ravalli County 911 Dispatchers
Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-17 18:44:54-04

HAMILTON - Dispatchers and detention officers are very important pieces to a puzzle, the puzzle of community safety.

But in Ravalli County, a couple of pieces are missing because there are not enough detention officers and not enough dispatchers.

"We’ve been struggling across the board with hiring public safety officers... so right we’re really just trying to get qualified people who are excited about a career in serving their community," said Ravalli County Sheriff Stephen Holton.

The Ravalli County Detention Center needs one officer.

"The main thing is, we're looking for somebody who understands that their number one priority is the safety and security of the inmates in our facility and that in turn is what keeps our community safe," said Sheriff Holton.

A shortage of detention officers creates several challenges, especially for those already on duty.

"The first one is overtime is really burning out the existing staff and the long hours. You have to have a good ratio of officers to inmates in order to have a safe facility and keep the inmates safe while they’re in that facility," Sheriff Holton explained.

A detention officer isn't the only position that Ravalli County needs to fill. They also need dispatchers.

"We’re about 50% staffed in our 911 center now, and that’s really been our biggest struggle it trying to keep communication specialists in that center, it’s a tough job. It's another one that’s not for everybody," said Sheriff Holton.

Dispatchers are the first ones notified in an emergency and in Ravalli County, they are also the ones that dispatch medical services.

"That is not a position we can go without. It’s not like we can say we don’t have enough people so we're not going to answer 911 calls today," said Sheriff Holton.

Due to being short-staffed, the 911 dispatchers struggle to keep up with calls.

"We’re often putting 911 calls on hold and prioritizing and dealing with more emergent. Whereas if we had more dispatchers, we can run them at the same time," Sheriff Holton told MTN News.

If you would like to apply you can find the information on the Ravalli County Sheriff’s App, or on their website.