November 24, 2014

Elyria
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Sheriff keeps electronic eye on workers after time card thefts

ELYRIA — Missing timecards have prompted Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti to install a surveillance camera to keep an eye on the time clock where deputies and other employees punch in and out.
“Somebody’s playing games,” Stammitti said.
After several deputies reported missing time cards, a camera was moved from the records room Friday to monitor the time clock, which is near the employees’ entrance, Stammitti said.
But the move sends the wrong message, said Dave Noll, an adviser to the Lorain County Deputies Association.
Morale is already down in the department because of recent budget cuts, problems with radios, the elimination of overtime and fewer deputies on the road, Noll said.
The deputies feel, Noll said, that the sheriff doesn’t trust them to clock in and out without supervision. If there was a problem, Noll said, Stammitti should have talked to the deputies, corrections officers, medical staff and maintenance personnel who use the time clock.
“Let’s all talk about this like adults, not just set up a spy camera,” he said.
But Stammitti said he just wants to make sure everything is above board when it comes to the hours of deputies and other employees. Stammitti said the decision to move the camera had little to do with monitoring when employees clock in, but it is an added advantage.
“We want to make sure everybody’s coming in on time and going home on time,” he said.
Stammitti said he doesn’t have an open investigation into who is stealing the time cards and if caught the culprit could face discipline, but he hopes the camera will fix the problem.
“It’s a shame you’ve got to do things like this, but it’s the day and age,” he said.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.