Police, Hard-Pressed to Hire Enough 911 Dispatchers, Ask for Help to Rehire a Retired One

Published : Monday, January 8, 2018 | 6:21 AM

Kelly Kiser, who retired recently

Kelly Kiser, who retired recently, is being asked to come back. Image via YouTube

The City of Pasadena wants to recall a retired police dispatcher back to duty, and wants him to start work again immediately.

In fact, the City’s Department of Human Resources is seeking the City Council’s authorization for it to be exempted from the 180-day waiting period prescribed under California law before a government retiree is rehired.

This authorization will come as a City Council resolution which is tabled for possible approval Monday.

The Human Resources Department, in an Agenda Report for Monday’s meeting, is recommending that the City rehire Kelly Kiser, who retired on November 17 last year, as Police Dispatcher.

“Mr. Kiser’s expertise, skills and abilities as a Police Dispatcher and knowledge of the specialized equipment used for police dispatch operations is needed to fill a critically necessary role within the Police Department,” Human Resources Director Jennifer Curtis said in the report. “Mr. Kiser has a unique understanding of the City’s and Police Department’s equipment, processes and procedures.”

Kiser’s term would be January 9, 2018 through January 9, 2019, on a part-time basis, which means his work should not exceed 960 per fiscal year, the recommendation said.

A draft of the resolution for Kiser’s rehiring says he would be paid $34.20 per hour, or $5,928 per month, which is the maximum base salary for the Police Dispatcher position.

The Human Resources Department said the Pasadena Police Department’s Dispatch Center, where it recommends Kiser be assigned, is the “primary point of contact for the City’s 911 NextGen Emergency system, non-emergency and information phone lines, Police Radio system and dispatching of calls for service.”

Duties in the Center include after-hours call outs for City services on an emergency basis, monitoring for city service radio systems and alarms.

The report said the City is currently recruiting to fill seven Police Dispatcher vacancies, but the recruitment and hiring process can take up to 10 months. After hiring, a Police Dispatcher has to undergo a comprehensive qualification training which can take anywhere between six and 18 months, it said.

Under the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013, any public agency must wait 180 days before it could rehire a retired employee. The requirement can be waived if the agency certifies that the appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position. The appointment also has to be approved by the governing body of the employer – in this case the City Council – in a public meeting and not on a consent calendar.

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