Dena Popp was named director of Barton County 911/Communications at Monday’s county commission meeting. It was an appointment at least one commissioner said was overdue.
Popp was appointed deputy director of 911 last October, while County Administrator Richard Boeckman was serving as interim director. Boeckman stepped in after the last director, Doug Hubbard, resigned in May 2015 after serving in the post since 2011.
“I think Dena is more than ready to be the 911 director,” Boeckman said. She works well with first responders and is able to fill in on the console taking 911 calls. Members of the 911 board agree unanimously with the promotion, he continued, adding Popp has requested a salary equal to that of the last director, $49,130 a year.
The commissioners praised her leadership, with commissioner Alisha Straub saying, “This is an appointment that’s well overdue,” and that Popp has shown she’s ready for the leadership role.
Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said this shows the wisdom of promoting from within. “The last two directors that we’ve had, it was a requirement that they know how to run the console, but neither one of them did it,” she said.
Popp’s family attended the meeting to see her accept the promotion. Popp thanks all of the county employees that had worked with her over the last 11 months preparing her for the position. “I’m grateful for the opportunity,” she said.
Popp has been employed with Barton County since September 1995. Four of those years were spent with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the remainder at 911.