According to ADRS’s Roy Roberts, Muenger had already been given the public service award at the local level, and thus qualified for the state wide award with all other local recipients.
“The city was very eager to work with us,” Roberts said. “They helped carve out a job, and helped make that a reality for one of our clients. They did the necessary modifications to the work site, and we collaborated with them on that. And she did such a good job, they ended up hiring her at the end of her paid work experience.”
The she in question would be Mallory Parton, a native Talladegan who happens to have muscular dystrophy.
“She was a consumer with vocational rehabilitation, and we were trying to help her find employment. We were brainstorming, and the possibility of working with the city came up. I contacted the mayor first, and he was very positive and said he would do what he could. He put is in touch with Muenger, who had the idea to clear up the old warrants in the police department, get them organized and filed. Everything just worked out, fell right into place and became a reality for us.”
Muenger said Roberts initially contacted him eight to 10 months ago, helping him to identify a qualified candidate, and cover her first three months salary. (Then Police Chief Alan) Watson and I were working on the backlog of municipal court warrants, which were just staggering in number. There were about 4,100 active warrants going back about 10 years. They had not been sorted or categorized. We had a warrant officer at one time, and we still had officers on light duty assignments working with them, but we needed more.”
Muenger and Watson interviewed Parton, determined she had the skills needed for the job, “and she helped get everything organized during the trial period,” Muenger said. “After that, we were able to modify the position of warrant clerk, and made her a permanent part-time employee. Her skills, her computer savvy and her ownership of the work have really made a difference. In the past, the city was able to collect $7,000 to $9,000 per month on old warrants, but during the last six months that number is up to $14,000 to $20,000 per month. She’s done a great job, and the numbers attest to that.”
She has also recently been certified in the use of the National Criminal Information Center database and sometimes works as a receptionist in the detective department.
Muenger said he was surprised when he was contacted about the local and state recognition. “It was just good business,” he said.
There are currently plans to expand the partnership with ADRS, including another client who has recently begun working for the Parks and Recreation Department at the Spring Street Recreation Center.