Time to attend memorial services of colleagues now covered for Monroe County workers, under revised personnel policy

At their regular Wednesday meeting, Monroe County’s board of commissioners approved a change to the county’s personnel policy.

This image, extracted from the Monroe County sheriff’s office recording of Deputy James Driver’s memorial service, links to the full video.

The change explicitly allows for employees to receive compensated time in order to attend memorial services for anyone actively employed by, or volunteering for the county.

Prompting the change was the recent death of sheriff’s deputy James Driver, who died in a car crash on March 29.

Commissioner Lee Jones said at Wednesday’s meeting, “The recent tragic death that we experienced is what caused us to notice that this needed to be included in the personnel policy.”

According to the press release from the sheriff’s office, Driver was at the time responding with emergency lights and sirens, to a different crash with reported injuries. The location of the crash in which Driver died was near State Road 45 and Eller Road, according to the news release.

The effective date of the ordinance was made April 1, 2021, which covers the time of the memorial services held for Driver in the first week of April.

Commissioner Penny Githens said, “I’m happy that we’re willing to do this for our employees and our volunteers. ”

The text of the paragraph approved by commissioners on Wednesday reads:

At their supervisor’s discretion and after consultation occurs between the employee and the supervisor, full-time employees will be granted compensated time to attend the calling and services of someone employed by, or volunteering for, the County at the time of his/her death.