Chesterton Tribune

Commissioners name new Porter County 911 director

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By DOUG ELISH

After a nationwide search, Porter County found its new E911 director right at home.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Porter County commissioners unanimously approved the hiring of Beverly Shores native John Jokantas as the new face of the 911 department and he enthusiastically accepted just a few minutes later.

Jokantas, 38, has spent the last 16 years working either in dispatching or as a police officer.

“This is what I do. This is what I breathe,” Jokantas said. “And this is where I grew up. It’s my chance to really give back to the community at a higher level.”

Commissioner president John Evans said it was Jokantas’ genuine excitement for the profession that separated him from more than 30 applicants the county received as part of a nationwide search with assistance from REM Management Services Inc. The firm narrowed the list of applicants down to seven and then four with the help of the county. The final four were then put through a stressful two-day interview process in which Jokantas came out on top.

“The commissioners and consultants agree he has a general passion for the communications profession,” Evans said. “He will do a good job.”

Jokantas, 38, holds two bachelor’s degrees, in business management and criminal justice. He started as a dispatcher in Chesterton and has also worked for the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and Valparaiso University.

Jokantas, who will replace Dave Sheibels in early September, currently works for the Carmel/Clay Communications Center in Carmel.

He said he is aware of the current issues with Porter County’s E911 service, including a major budget shortfall, and he is looking forward to taking steps to help solve the problems. “There will be some challenges, but we will tackle them,” Jokantas said. “I am going to keep an open mind.”

 

Posted 8/17/2011