Kansas County Sheriff’s Office Carves Out New IT Spot

The Shawnee County Commission approved the creation of a business technology coordinator. The office has struggled at times with technology issues since the retirement of its former IT specialist.

by Tim Hrenchir, The Topeka Capital-Journal / February 1, 2019
Shutterstock/Timofeev Vladimir

(TNS) — Shawnee County commissioners authorized Sheriff Herman Jones on Thursday to create and fill a new job in his office for a "business technology coordinator," who will be paid $34.32 an hour.

Commission chairman Bob Archer stressed that money from the sheriff's office budget will go to pay the position's salary and benefits, which he said will total about $100,000 a year.

"I hope it pays for itself," he said.

Jones told The Topeka Capital-Journal he planned to hire Justin Drake, whom he said is "well-qualified."

Jones told commissioners Thursday his office has struggled at times with information technology since a county IT employee assigned to the sheriff's office retired in 2015.

Commissioners Archer, Bill Riphahn and Kevin Cook subsequently voted 3-0 to enable Jones to move forward with plans to hire Drake, whom he said has done information technology work for his office, first intermittently and more recently on a contract basis.

Drake also has worked to aid other law enforcement agencies that have the same type of computer system, Jones said.

Commissioners had initially planned Thursday to consider Jones' request that they reclassify an open job in his office for a radio network administrator in a manner that would raise its annual salary and benefits to nearly $107,000.

But Jones pulled that from the agenda before the meeting, saying the candidate he hoped to hire had taken a higher-paying job.

©2019 The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.