Thursday, October 27, 2016

Allegany County Public Safety Committee draft meeting minutes from Oct. 24, 2016

October 24, 2016
Committee Members Present: P. Curran, D. Healy, J. Hopkins, K. LaForge, C. Crandall, (Absent: S. Burt, A. McGraw)
Others Present: L. Ballengee, T. Boyde, D. Burch, D. Decker, D. Fanton, K. Graves, L. Gridley, P. Griffith, M. Heller, K. Hollis, R. Hollis, C. Ives, C. Jessup, T. Miner, K. Monroe, T. O’Grady, B. Riehle, D. Root, T. Ross, M. Washer, R. Whitney
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 12:50 p.m. by Public Safety Committee Chairman Phil Curran.
SFY 2016-17 Police Protective Equipment Program (PPEP)
            The Sheriff’s Office requested a resolution to apply for funds allowed under Tier 8 of the SFY 2016-17 Police Protective Equipment Program (PPEP). The maximum amount available to Allegany County is $25,000, and the funds would be used to purchase or replace patrol rifles, advanced ballistic vests, and advanced ballistic helmets for all County law enforcement agencies. Public Safety Committee Chairman Phil Curran questioned if there is currently a Mutual Aid Agreement in place. Village of Wellsville Police Chief Tim O’Grady stated at one time we did have County-wide Mutual Aid Agreements in place; however, they are outdated and will need new signatures as there have been changes in personnel. Chief O’Grady went on to state the distribution of funds will be Allegany County Sheriff’s Office receiving $6,500, Wellsville, Cuba and Alfred Police Departments will all receive $3,500, and $1,140 will go to the seven part-time Police Departments if they choose to participate. Public Safety Committee Chairman Phil Curran stated it is his understanding there are some rifles involved which will include training and questioned if the County is liable for that since we are applying for the grant. County Administrator Timothy Boyde stated after discussing this matter with County Attorney Tom Miner, it was determined that would be each department’s responsibility to train their employees in the administration or use of these weapons.  Legislator Healy questioned what kind of rifles will be purchased. Chief O’Grady stated there are several the grant deems acceptable to purchase including any DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services) approved patrol rifle which is defined as a M4A1 Carbine, AR-15 Rife, Ruger Mini-14 Rifle, MP5, or other firearm with similar capabilities as determined by DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services). Legislator Hopkins questioned if they are seeing a predominant purchase of rifles or if each department will have their own choice of which equipment to purchase. Sheriff Whitney stated each department can choose what they want, and the Sheriff’s Office will likely split up the purchase between rifles, helmets, and vests. Chief O’Grady stated he is looking to purchase six helmets and any leftover funds will purchase a rifle. Town of Cuba Police Chief Dustin Burch stated they are looking to purchase rifles to have in their vehicles. They currently have one but would like to purchase additional rifles to have in every car. Chief Burch went on to say they do have a policy in place and instructors who train on the use of the rifles. These rifles will not be used for routine police work; however, in the event of a school shooting or other serious event, it would be imperative to have them available. Legislator Graves showed his support for this grant and stated he would like to see the departments receive the equipment, but questioned how it was decided what the largest police department in the County is, and how it was calculated as to who would get what amount of money. Legislator Graves went on to say that because the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have an official road patrol, he feels the majority of the funds should go to the local Police Departments who are policing our roads. Sheriff Whitney explained the grant application states that the largest Police Department in the County is the one with the most sworn in officers. Legislator Graves noted the contract states that the Executive Deputy Commissioner can change the terms of the contract for the best interest of New York, and questioned if anyone has mentioned we have no road patrol and maybe we should change the terms so the Wellsville, Alfred, or Cuba Police Departments carry the lead on the grant because they are full-time and actively patrolling our roads. Chief O’Grady explained that when the local police departments were discussing this grant, they looked at the County taking the lead on it because they have the most personnel so they would receive the largest amount, then further broke down the distribution amounts based on the second largest department and so on. Public Safety Committee Chairman Phil Curran stated that while the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have a road patrol, if an emergency occurred that required a large turnout of police force, the Sheriff will have a better chance at gathering more officers than the Village Police Departments can; therefore, he would like to see an equitable distribution of rifles, helmets and vests among the respondents that can come forward in the event they are needed. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Healy, seconded by Legislator Hopkins, and carried. Refer to Ways and Means
Forensic Crisis Counselor Position
            Sheriff Rick Whitney stated that they met with Community Services Director Dr. Anderson and decided to renegotiate the terms of their contract with Allegany Rehabilitation Associates to a new annual amount of $76,000 and will not be creating a full-time Forensic Crisis Counselor position within the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Whitney stated that while the new terms include a $10,000 increase, it still remains cost effective to the County. This request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Healy, seconded by Legislator LaForge, and carried. Prepare Resolution
            There being no further business to come before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 1:12 p.m. following a motion by Legislator LaForge, seconded by Legislator Hopkins, and carried.
Respectfully submitted,
Meghan Washer, Secretary to the Clerk of the Board
Allegany County Board of Legislators