Public Safety Committee

Regular Meeting Notes

Thursday, December 21, 2017 3:00 PM

Legislature Chambers

 

Attendance

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Rich John

Chair

Present

Anna Kelles

Vice Chair

Present

Martha Robertson

Member

Present

James Dennis

Member

Present

David McKenna

Member

Present

Matthew Van Houten

District Attorney

Present

Christina Dravis

Director of Dispatch

Present

Kenneth Lansing

Sheriff

Present

Lee Shurtleff

Director, Department of Emergency Response

Present

Michelle Pottorff

Chief Deputy Clerk, Legislature

Present

Marcia Lynch

Public Info. Officer, County Administration

Present

Patricia Buechel

Probation & Community Justice Director

Present

Ray Bunce

Captain of Corrections, Sheriff's Department

Present

Dan Donahue

Tompkins County Sheriff's Department

Present

Paula Younger

Deputy County Administrator

Present

 

Guests:  Anne Koreman, Henry Granison, Legislators-Elect; Joe Nelson; Nick Reynolds, Ithaca Times; Chaz Garrity, Swift Reach

Call to Order

              Mr. John, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.

Changes to Agenda

              There were no changes to the agenda.

Privilege of the Floor

              No member of the public wished to speak.

Minutes Approval

November 16, 2017

RESULT:              ACCEPTED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Martha Robertson, Member

SECONDER:              David McKenna, Member

AYES:              John, Kelles, Robertson, Dennis, McKenna

Chair's Report

              Mr. John distributed a draft letter to the Commission of Correction regarding the upcoming withdrawal of the variance at the Tompkins County Jail.  Sheriff Lansing spoke to why the request has to come from someone other than himself and said the Commission made it clear that he was not to request an extension of the variance from the Commission but supports the request coming from the Committee Chair and is willing to discuss it with the Commission. 

 

Resolution No. - A Resolution Recognizing the 28-Year Contribution of Stu Bergman as a Member of the STOP-DWI Advisory Board (ID #7513)

              Mr. John thanked Mr. Bergman and said we are fortunate to have a community that is full of volunteers and very interested individuals.  

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Rich John, Chair

SECONDER:              Anna Kelles, Vice Chair

AYES:              John, Kelles, Robertson, Dennis, McKenna

WHEREAS, the Public Safety Committee is responsible for oversight of the STOP-DWI Advisory Board, and

 

WHEREAS, the STOP-DWI Advisory Board is an advisory board to the Tompkins County Legislature that is dedicated to reducing both the incidence and impact of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs in our community, through focus on its mission to:

 

-              Reduce the number of persons killed or injured in alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes;

-              To promote DWI prevention as a public priority; and

-              Coordinate local efforts in Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Probation, Rehabilitation, Public Information, Education, and Administration.

 

WHEREAS, Stu Bergman, who has served as a member of the STOP-DWI Advisory Board for twenty-eight years, together with serving as Chair for approximately twenty-five years, has announced his retirement from the STOP-DWI Advisory Board, and

 

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature wishes to recognize Stu Bergman for his long service on behalf of the County on the STOP-DWI Advisory Board, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Public Safety Committee, That the Tompkins County Legislature recognizes Stu Bergman for his commitment to the goals of reducing the number of driving while intoxicated incidents in our community and limiting the number of people injured and killed from driving while intoxicated accidents,

 

RESOLVED, further, That the Tompkins County Legislature commends and thanks Stu Bergman for his long service as a volunteer and an advocate, and for his work as a member and Chair of the Tompkins County STOP-DWI Advisory Board.

SEQR ACTION:  TYPE II-20

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County Administration

              Ms. Younger said a  lot of people are joining the effort to recruit the Criminal Justice Coordinator and said the Review Team met for the first time yesterday and was productive in developing a hiring protocol and process for screening and ranking applications.  The Department of Human Resources will be supporting the process; the deadline for submitting applications is January 19th.  Ms. Robertson said she hopes all the time that is necessary is taken to select the right applicant even if that delays the timeline. 

Department of Emergency Response

              Mr. Shurtleff said in October the Legislature adopted a resolution to reorganize the Emergency Communications Review and Oversight Committee and they will be coming back next month to make appointments to the various seats.  He also called attention to the resolution authorizing acceptance of the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant and said this is the SWN money finally coming forward after many years.  He hopes these funds that will be used to maintain the system will be renewed every year in the State budget.

 

SwiftReach Demo (ID #7373)

              Mr. Shurtleff said several months ago former County Administrator, Joe Mareane, brought forward a proposal to move forward with an emergency notification system.  It was developed through conversations with the Tompkins County Council of Governments and discussions that took place with municipalities during the exploration of shared services.  Mr. Shurtleff said the project incorporates all aspects of the Reverse 911 system that they were looking for.  He said Christina Dravis took the lead on this emergency notification project that the Legislature voted a few months ago to move forward with.   He introduced Chaz Garrity, a representative of Swift Reach who provided the corporate overview of the New Jersey-based company and demonstration of the web-based and mobile Switf911 mass communication system.   

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Resolution No. - Authorization to Accept Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant and Budget Adjustments – Department of Emergency Response (ID #7517)

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              David McKenna, Member

SECONDER:              Martha Robertson, Member

AYES:              John, Kelles, Robertson, Dennis, McKenna

              WHEREAS, in April 2017, the New York State Division of Homeland Security (DHSES) - Office of Interoperable Communications (OIEC) announced a Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, allocating funding to counties to aid in making necessary improvements and providing for sustainment of Land Mobile Radio Systems (LMR), and

             

WHEREAS, through this new grant program, the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response has been awarded funding for the maintenance of LMR components supporting interoperability in the form of reimbursement for eligible program expenses, and

             

WHEREAS, Tompkins County has since been notified that various recurring expenses for the maintenance and replacement of the Department’s interoperable radio communications system are eligible for reimbursement beginning in 2017, and

             

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature, in anticipation of the planned funding has through the recently adopted 2018 Budget and Capital Program anticipated such reimbursement and established appropriate budgetary mechanisms to execute the grant on a recurring, annual basis, and will now be reimbursed for current year’s systems costs, and

             

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature desires that such new sources of funding be directed toward anticipated communications systems replacements and future enhancements, now therefore be it

             

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Public Safety and the Budget, Capital and Personnel Committees, That Tompkins County accepts an award of $738,565 (DHSES Award WM16198674), to fund sustainment, maintenance, and enhancement of the interoperable communications system,

             

              RESOLVED, further, That the Finance Director be and hereby is authorized to amend and adjust the following accounts for 2017 established for the receipt and expenditure of such funds and to establish and transfer to capital accounts as necessary for ongoing capital improvements and replacements to the system:

              Revenue:              3411.44389              Other Public Safety Aid                            $738,565

              Expense:              3411.54651              Renewal and Replacement              $700,000                           

                                          3411.54422              Maintenance                                          $ 38,565

 

SEQR ACTION:  TYPE II-20             

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Resolution No. - Appropriation from Contingent Fund – Terminal-Pay and Replacement-Pay Reimbursement – Emergency Response (ID #7516)

              Mr. Shurtleff said right now the Department is at full staffing with two people in training but will continue to experience retirements.  He applauded Christina Dravis and said there has been extensive outreach to the public when there have been vacancies that has resulted in many more diverse candidates.  

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Anna Kelles, Vice Chair

SECONDER:              David McKenna, Member

AYES:              John, Kelles, Robertson, Dennis, McKenna

WHEREAS, the Department of Emergency Response had two (2) Emergency Services Dispatchers retire, with end dates of September 14, 2017, and November 25, 2017, and one (1) Emergency Services Dispatcher resign, with an end date of June 12, 2017, and

 

              WHEREAS, a Department of Emergency Response employee was on extended disability leave from October 2016 to April 2017, and

 

              WHEREAS, the Fiscal Policy of Tompkins County permits reimbursement to the department from the Contingent Fund for terminal pay and replacement pay for absences exceeding two months, now therefore be it

 

              RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Public Safety and the Budget, Capital and Personnel Committees, That the Director of Finance be and hereby is authorized and directed to make the following budget appropriation for 2017:

              FROM:                            A1990.54440                            Contingent Fund                                          $60,754.44

              TO:                            A3410.51000551              Emergency Services Dispatcher                            $24,538.17                                                        A3410.51400                            Disability Pay                                                        $17,825.99                                                        A3410.58800                            Fringes                                                                      $10,652.02                                                        A3410.58800                            Fringes                                                                      $ 7,738.26

SEQR ACTION: TYPE II-20

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Sheriff's Office

Sheriff's Department Report - November 2017 (ID #7510)

              Sheriff Lansing introduced Lt. Donahue who addressed the Department's policy for reporting news items.  Lt. Donahue said everything the Department does is addressed by a policy, including how they deal with the media for a variety of situations.   Mr. John said there was a large incident on South Hill that prompted a number of questions and asked him to address that situation.  Lt. Donahue said he is the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff's Department and stated the Department cannot comment on an ongoing investigation as it could jeopardize the investigation.  There are many other reasons why they cannot give out information to the public, including notification to all family members when there is a fatality and stressed that information being released has to be entirely correct.  He also noted that social media has made it very difficult.   He commented he has used the Swift911 system and it will be very helpful.  There is no set criteria for posting information to the website and they do what they are able to.

 

              In response to Ms. Robertson, Lt. Donahue explained how the Department coordinates with the County's Public Information Officer and said when situations arise where the County should take the lead in public information he will turn it over to Marcia Lynch who is also included on the Department's media distribution.  Ms. Lynch commented that she has reviewed the Department's public information policy and found it to make sense. 

* * * * * * * * *

 

November 2017 Jail Statistics (ID #7511)

RESULT:              COMPLETED

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Department of Probation and Community Justice

              Ms. Buechel thanked Sheriff Lansing and his Department for assisting with a unique situation involving an adjudicated juvenile delinquent that was sent out of State by Family Court.  She said if Family Court sends another youth out of State she will see that there is a plan in place to avoid issues like the ones that arose in this case.

District Attorney

              Mr. Van Houten reported on department activities and said they are very busy with trials.   He said the hiring process for an Assistant District Attorney is going well and he will extend an offer today.

 

Advisory Board Appointments (ID #7509)

Advisory Board on Indigent Representation - terms expire December 31, 2020

Jason Leifer

Jerome Mayersak

RESULT:              RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Martha Robertson, Member

SECONDER:              Anna Kelles, Vice Chair

AYES:              John, Kelles, Robertson, Dennis, McKenna

* * * * * * * * *

 

Adjournment

              The meeting adjourned at 4:13 p.m.

Bdgt Adj. & Transfers (Info. Only)

Information Item - Purchase of Office Desks and File Cabinet (ID #7476)

RESULT:              COMPLETED

* * * * * * * * *

 

Information Item - Budget Adjustment and Transfer Request (ID #7506)

RESULT:              COMPLETED

* * * * * * * * *

 

Information Item - Re-allocation of Park Grant Appropriations Between Budget Lines for 2017 (ID #7518)

RESULT:              COMPLETED

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