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BY DONNIE JOHNSTON
Thirteen months ago, Cupeper County E-911 dispatch supervisor William Martin didn't know if he had a job.
This week, Martin was named the new director of the E-911 Dispatch Center.
"I'm shocked and very pleased," Martin said in the wake of his appointment.
Martin found himself briefly out in the cold when Sheriff-elect Scott Jenkins began to put together his administration prior to taking office in December of 2011. Two of the E-911 dispatch positions are directly funded by the Sheriff's Office, and those dispatchers serve at the pleasure of whoever is in office at the time.
Within a few hours, however, county officials stepped in and offered Martin the same job with county funding. Within 24 hours, the sheriff-elect had reconsidered, but Martin decided to go with the county offer rather than run the risk of being at the mercy of the politics of the day.
On Thursday, Jenkins, who chairs the E-911 Board, had high praise for Martin after his unanimous choice as director.
"I'm extremely pleased," the sheriff said. "William has been the go-to guy at the center for a long time and it is nice to see him rewarded."
Jenkins added that it was good to see a local person get the job. Martin, 45, is a seventh-generation Culpeper native whose father, Bill Martin, worked as a deputy sheriff for three decades.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Sue Hansohn also spoke highly of Martin, who has been with the E-911 Dispatch Center since 1998 and a shift supervisor and training officer since 2000.
"William has the experience and training for the job and has shown dedication to the center over the years," Hansohn said. "I think the county is fortunate to have him as a director. He will do a good job."
Martin and interim Director Jenny Rosenfeld were the two finalists for the job. Rosenfeld, who has been with the dispatch center for six years, was appointed to replace Steve Basnett, who was relieved of his duties last June.
Rosenfeld will now become deputy director of the E-911 Center. "We'll make a great team," she said.
Martin praised his new deputy director for her handling of a difficult situation during the past six months.
"She did an awesome job," he said. "Since she took over, morale has improved dramatically and I hope to keep us going in that direction."
Martin said that his other goals include achieving full accreditation for the center and retaining quality personnel.
"And I hope to continue providing the best service we can for the citizens and the responders in the field," he added.