This new agreement, if approved, would require “potential organizational restructuring, personnel movement, management structure, budget implications, and adjustment of business and operating processes relating to law enforcement emergency communications and fire and EMS emergency communications” for Williamson County, according to the meeting agenda.
“The part that we’re really talking about is a very small subsection of how dispatching happens for law enforcement. That has been ... designed around a joint center, meaning the sheriff’s department, the constables and most smaller agencies,” Commissioner Cynthia Long said. “That system has had input and changes over the years on how that’s done from the sheriff and from all those agencies. ... That part, I think, has been very responsive to the needs of law enforcement and how those calls get dispatched.”
Williamson County Sheriff Mike Gleason expressed dissent in the current agreement, in particular with control of the position-control numbers, which are "a number assigned to employee positions by human resources," said Connie Odom, Williamson County public affairs manager.
Gleason also wanted to be removed from the audit that is arranged in the agreement. After discussion with the court, County Judge Bill Gravell ruled the court would move forward without coming to a conflict solution from Gleason. The ruling also stated that there would be a future discussion to try to come to a resolution with the sheriff.
Odom said there is an existing agreement between emergency communications and the sheriff's department. If the new agreement would continue to require the cooperation of the sheriff and constables, there would not be any change to the emergency dispatch communications.
“[Regardless] of what path we go forward, we just have to make sure that our troops in the field are receiving the real-time information they need to be successful, in my mind, more importantly, to be safe,” Commissioner Russ Boles said. “We need them to be safe and to be safe for our community.”