In my last letter I stated that Licking County Dog Warden David Shellhouse, wrote an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) manual for the Licking County dog pound. The SOP states that any employee carrying a TASER is to receive annual “proficiency training.”
But when I realized this training had not been done since 2014, Shellhouse sent me an email and said there is no annual training required. Shellhouse had training records at the pound that had not been given to Licking County Human Resources (LCHR) and, therefore were not included in a records request to me from LCHR. This was an issue in 2009 when the pound employees had not sent training records to LCHR. When I finally got those records from the pound (2009) I found that a training certificate had been falsified! That led to FELONY charges/convictions on two pound employees and an embarrassment to the county.
I believe that LCHR should be the keeper of training records when it comes to the county employees ESPECIALLY if it is a job requirement! Someone needs to look out for the county and it doesn’t appear that anyone at the pound is going to do that.
I did finally receive copies of the most recent certifications from the pound. On the front of the Taser certification for Assistant Chief Dog Warden Williams it says, “This certification must be renewed annually.” Four out of five employees have NOT been re-certified since 2014!
I spoke to one of the Taser instructors and here’s what he had to say: “Taser International requires a yearly recertification. If a department chooses otherwise, it is their liability. I tell everyone I instruct this but it is not my job to enforce how they do it after I do the training. I strongly urge all certified persons to abide by Taser standards but it is their liability if they do not. I tell them I will not support them in court and neither will Taser if they do not follow the rules.”
Before coming to Licking County, Dog Warden Shellhouse worked in Franklin County as a Field Supervisor in the enforcement division of the Franklin County pound. Some of the complaints in Shellhouse’s personnel file from Franklin County were: Neglect of Duty; Inefficiency – used too much sick leave – failed to complete employee evaluations – didn’t monitor activities of employees – failed to review subordinates’ paperwork; and two chargeable accidents in county vehicles.
In my opinion, the Licking County Commissioners and their clerk Bev Adzic are just as neglectful and inefficient by ignoring these serious problems at the pound. It only takes two commissioners to do the right thing and only one improperly trained employee to harm someone!