UMATILLA COUNTY – Umatilla County Emergency Dispatch Capt. Kathy Lieuallen retires June 30, and her successor has been named by Sheriff Terry Rowan. Karen Primmer was promoted to captain on May 1 and has been training with Lieuallen since then.
With Lieuallen’s retirement approaching, Rowan said he prepared for the change before he knew who would fill the position.
“I think it was back in March we made a formal request to the Board of Commissioners to allow us to go ahead and promote an individual – at that time we didn’t know for sure who – into a captain’s position, knowing that Capt. Lieuallen was retiring at the end of June,” Rowan said. “We asked to do so as of May 1, so there would be an opportunity for whomever we identified as her replacement to work directly with her.”
Rowan said that after the commissioners approved the request, his office went through an internal process and identified Primmer as the best fit.
“I believe it is June 6 of this year she will have had 30 years of experience in 911 and dispatch operations,” Rowan said.
Primmer came to the sheriff’s office from the Hermiston Police Department’s dispatch department before HPD disbanded local dispatch to subscribe to the county’s service.
“We got her earlier than some of the others, directly into a sergeant’s position,” Rowan said.