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Dispatch supervisor honored by fiscal court

SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met in special session on Friday, March 10, swearing in a new sheriff deputy and saying goodbye longstanding director of Magoffin County 911.

Weslee Gilliland, 9 years old, son of Cody and Jessica Gilliland, was sworn in as a junior deputy for the Magoffin County Sheriff Department, with Sheriff Bill Meade giving him a badge and an open invitation to the sheriff’s office anytime.

“It fills my heart with joy,” Sheriff Meade told Mortimer Media Group. “Growing up, I always wanted to be a policeman, a firefighter, in the Army, but my love is law enforcement, but to see a young man as enthused as he is in law enforcement, it tickles me to death. I’m sure there’s great things ahead for him as he grows older, and we certainly want to encourage young people like that to move towards their dreams and I think it’s just fantastic.”

Junior Deputy Gilliland said he’s been thinking about this dream for three years, since he was 6 years old, when his cousin, Josh Montgomery, who works in law enforcement, gave him a badge.
Gilliland said, “I thought it was pretty cool. I just started wanting to be one and protect. Josh told me all about it.”

When talking to one of his friends who asked why he’d want to be a junior deputy, Gilliland said he told him, “I want to pursue that dream and become one.”

Sheriff Meade told Mortimer Media Group that he’s working with his Chief Deputy Tim Clark, who has experience with school programs, and the fiscal court to expand services that involve youth in the community, saying, “I’ve been talking with the judge/executive and there’s opioid money available from settlement and out of that money we should be able to purchase educational materials on drug use, bullying – that type of stuff – and my Chief Deputy Tim Clark has a long history of doing those programs and this will give us an opportunity to reach out to the youth in the schools. We want them to feel comfortable around law enforcement and we want to of course teach them about the bad side of drug use and the effect bullying can have on others.”

The fiscal court also passed a resolution to honor Scott Jenkins, who has been at Magoffin County 911 since it began in 1995.

Judge/Executive Matt Wireman read the resolution, recognizing Jenkins’ work as a telecommunicator and 22 years as the supervisor of Magoffin County’s dispatch, office, being a pillar to the community when Magoffin County needed him most.

“Scott has always been a dedicated servant to our community,” Judge Wireman said. “He is a servant leader and has been since he started this job and I know he will continue to do that in all his future endeavors, and I know he’s going to be a shoulder that we’re going to lean on when we get in situations that we need guidance and support and he’ll always be there. He has a love for Magoffin County that is unparalleled. We appreciate you, Scott, and we love you, buddy.”

Jenkins addressed the court, stating, “I just appreciate the opportunity of the fiscal court for 28 years allowing me to have a job. The Lord put it on Mom’s heart when I was a 20-year-old kid, when she saw it advertised in the newspaper. She said ‘this is a job for Scott,’ and when we went and talked to some people, the Lord worked it out and I started working. He’s been faithful to keep me safe through the whole time, to keep me sane. It’s a job that can drive you insane sometimes. I work with tremendous people. Some of these guys have been here since the start and some of them started a few years later, but the tremendous amount of talent of first responders we’ve got in this county is amazing and I appreciate working with them and all you all have done for us. I’m thankful for you, Judge Wireman, and the fiscal court the last one and this one. It’s been an honor to work with you guys.”

Jenkins sat down with Mortimer Media Group after the meeting, describing his last 28 years.

“It’s been a journey of learning and growth, and we went from paper and pencil with four telephones lined up and four radios lined up to a state-of-art system – I think one of the best in the region, so there’s been a lot of change,” Jenkins said.

He said several of the dispatchers have been with Magoffin 911 for 20 years or more, which he says reflects well on him and the county for being able to retain employees, even in one of the most stressful jobs.

“It’s an amazing opportunity just to serve people in need,” Jenkins said. “When you’re on the other end of the phone call, you hear things you don’t ever want to hear. People are in the worst moments of their life, that you are providing something for them in that moment – something that they need – can be the different in life and death. When you hear those things and you’re able to calm a caller down and let them understand that you care, there’s some techniques we can use. One of the ones you call them by their first name and talk to them personally. It’s soothing to the caller because they feel that you care about them and you took enough time to know their name, to call them by name and to make it personal. Every phone call you get is personal and you do the best you can to provide that service to them and get them help as quick as you can. The results are not always what you want, but there’s some along the way the results could have been very different if you couldn’t intervene. I’ve been blessed to be able to help people in that aspect.”

For the past several years, while also still serving as the director of Magoffin County 911, Jenkins has also been pursuing his education, enrolling in college in 2016 and has since obtained his Bachelor of Science in social work and will start being an employee of Child Protective Services in Floyd County this week.

From those of us with Mortimer Media Group and the Salyersville Independent, we would like to also express our gratitude for Jenkins’ always solid and calm service to the community, seeing us through countless events with grace and compassion. He will definitely be missed in this community.

Also in the Friday, March 10 meeting, the fiscal court approved a lease agreement with American Business Systems for the maintenance of the printer for the county treasurer and director of finance office. They authorized the judge/executive to execute required documentation to Kentucky Homeland Security pertaining to a grant for supplies for the sheriff’s office. They approved the purchase agreement with Musco Sports Lighting, LLC, for the Magoffin County Little League rebuild at Ramey Memorial Park, which Judge Wireman explained would be mostly covered by FEMA and state funds, with 13% covered by the fiscal court.

The court also approved a resolution authorizing the judge/executive to execute any documentation regarding EKSAFE funding, the emergency money the legislature approved in the fall for matches on FEMA projects and financial liquidity.

The fiscal court approved the lease agreement with Enterprise for two Ford Interceptors for the Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office.

The Magoffin County Fiscal Court is tentatively set to meet in regular session on Tuesday, March 21 at 6 p.m. in the fiscal courtroom in the Magoffin County Courthouse Albert Patrick Building.

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