Legislators discuss recent arson fires, tasers for Probation, Robert Starks announces retirement
Members Present: A. Cyr, K. Demick, B. Harris, D. Healy, J. Rumfelt, (Absent: S. Havey, G. Barnes, P. Stockin)
Other Present: J. Baker, T. Boyde, J. Burdick, A. Carrow, S. Cicirello, D. Fanton, G. Green, L. Greene,
G. Hanchett, K. Hooker, C. Ivers, I. Jones, C. Knapp, S. Lamphier, T. Linn, J. Luckey, B. Perkins, J. Ricketts-Swales, B. Riehle, T. Shaw, R. Starks, R. Whitney
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 1:39 p.m. by Public Safety Committee Vice-Chairman James Rumfelt.
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Legislator Harris, seconded by Legislator Demick, and carried to approve the minutes of June 1, 2022.
Stop-DWI Coordinator Brian Perkins attended the meeting and submitted his monthly report to the committee for review. Mr. Perkins briefly highlighted items from his report.
Victim Impact Panel
Mr. Perkins stated that they are getting prepared for the Victim Impact Panel in August and have been receiving some of the forms. Mr. Perkins stated that he has been talking with Shannon Ozella from Victim Services to have a live person present. Mr. Perkins stated that once they have that live person he can reach out to Fire and Police to line them up.
Traffic Safety Board
Mr. Perkins stated that the Traffic Safety Board had a meeting last week and had a discussion with their plans for the Allegany County Fair, and how they are handling Chairman duties for the rest of the year.
Mr. Perkins stated that Bike Safety is completed for the year having visited ten different Allegany County Schools.
Mr. Perkins stated that he is hopeful that the Regional STOP-DWI meetings will go back to in- person.
Public Defender J. R. Santana Carter was unable to attend the meeting due to a court conflict, but had previously submitted his monthly report to the committee for review.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT & FIRE
Emergency Management & Fire Director Jeffrey Luckey attended the meeting and submitted his monthly report to the committee for review. Mr. Luckey stated that on June 16, Emergency Management & Fire Assistant Director Bonnie VanHousen met with members of Leadership Allegany at the Law
Enforcement/First Responder Day as well as the Town Clerk’s monthly meeting. Mr. Luckey stated that EMS had a very productive meeting with various groups at the fairgrounds on June 30 to discuss updates to the plans for the Allegany County Fair. Mr. Luckey stated that he had to leave the meeting to respond to a fire with assistance from Chief Rumfelt and the District Attorney’s Office in Andover where a 14-year old was arrested for setting that fire. Mr. Luckey stated that they also responded to another fire on July 1 in the Town of Allen with assistance from the New York State Police and the District Attorney’s Office which ended up with an arrest for arson of a 61-year old.
- July 13-16 – Firemen’s Convention in Rushford
- July 18-23 – Allegany County Fair Booth for Recruitment and General Information
- August 9 – EMT Fall Classes Begin
Legislator Rumfelt thanked the Allegany County Fire Investigators Team including: Jeff Luckey, Paul Edwards FI 4, and Brian Goodrich FI 6, as well as Officer Rumfelt from the Alfred Police Department, and the New York State Police. Legislator Rumfelt stated that a fire in the County involves several Departments working together, and this incident was handled very well, and he appreciates all of the help. Legislator Healy asked Legislator Rumfelt to explain what “FI” stands for. Legislator Rumfelt explained that Allegany County Fire Investigators go by FI 1 through FI 13, and that they are specially trained to investigate the fires that they assist with. Legislator Healy stated that it seems there is an increase in the number of structure fires. Mr. Luckey stated that it seems like that, but there has been an increase in arson fires recently, but the majority of structure fires have been accidental. Legislator Healy stated that during his time, historically there has been a decrease in structure fires, but it seems like there is a bit of an up-tick with recent fires. Mr. Luckey stated that the 3 recent arson fires in the last month is likely part of that up-tick. Legislator Healy commented that he hopes that does not continue.
Allegany County Assistant District Attorney Ian Jones was called away to court and unable to attend the meeting but had previously submitted his monthly report to the committee for review.
Request to Fill Investigator
Allegany County District Attorney Keith Slep requested to fill one Part-Time Investigator (Section IV) in the District Attorney’s Office. The Investigator is responsible for the investigation of criminal matters, assisting in the work-up and preparation of cases, law enforcement liaison between multiple departments, gathering of evidence, and compliance with discovery laws. These tasks are crucial to the prosecution of criminal matters as they either cannot be completed without an investigator, or are made exponentially more difficult in the absence of an investigator. The annual salary is estimated to be $15,000, with benefits estimated to be $3,705. Legislator Harris asked if the position was being added or filled. County Administrator Carissa Knapp stated that the position was being filled. Legislator Rumfelt commented that the position had remained vacant since Undersheriff Cicirello left. Legislator Healy stated that the workload in the DA’s Office, especially for the Investigator has increased significantly and wondered if they have enough help, or whether a full-time position would be better. Ms. Knapp stated that she does not know the answer to that, but that last year she spoke with the District Attorney’s Office on possible ways to increase the cost. Ms. Knapp explained that this position is a specific budgeted amount based on a previous Investigator who is retired and the amount of time he would like to work. Legislator Healy stated that he is not trying to suggest that they spend more money, but that the increased workload makes him question how it is setup. Legislator Healy asked if they will have to come back if they need more help. Ms. Knapp stated that they have left that conversation open as to how they could make that a full-time position. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Cyr, seconded by Legislator Harris, and carried. Refer to Ways and Means
Probation Director Robert Starks attended the meeting and submitted his monthly report to the committee for review. Legislator Healy asked if Mr. Starks noticed any trends that he may want to note. Mr. Starks stated that the PINS referrals are still quite high as compared to the previous year. Mr. Starks explained that the numbers are at approximately two-thirds of the total number from last year. Legislator Healy asked if Mr. Starks thought that Raise the Age had any bearing with the increase. Mr. Starks stated that he believes the numbers are increasing due to schools returning to in person instruction.
Request of a Resolution Approving a Contract with Axon Enterprise Inc.
Mr. Starks requested a resolution approving a contract between Axon Enterprise, Inc. of 17800
N. 85th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, and the Allegany County Probation Department to purchase two new tasers and related products. Although we will receive the tasers in August, the cost of purchasing these products will be spread out over a five-year period. Axon has notified this Department that they will no longer provide technical support for our current tasers. This contract shall be from August 1, 2022, to August 31, 2026. The Allegany County Probation Department shall pay Axon Enterprise, Inc. a sum not to exceed $4,874.10 and appropriations will be to Account #A314.208. The funds are included in the 2022 Budget. Legislator Harris asked what the life expectancy is for tasers. Mr. Starks explained that they should last a long time because it depends on how often they are fired. Mr. Starks stated that thankfully the only time ours have been fired is during training or during weekly dry tests. Mr. Starks commented that they have never needed to use them and hope they never have to. Legislator Healy asked if training would also be provided for our Officers. Mr. Starks stated that our Officers have already been trained with the new tasers. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Cyr, seconded by Legislator Harris, and carried. Refer to Ways and Means
Pretrial Certification Status
Mr. Starks stated that he received the recertification of Pretrial Services Agencies Survey Results from the New York State Unified Court System on June 16, 2022. Mr. Starks stated that Allegany County Probation Department received a score of 115.5 out of a possible 175 points, and therefore, was granted Level 3 – Extended Certification, which will last for three years.
Retirement Announcement – Robert Starks September 23 is last day
Mr. Starks stated that he began working for Allegany County as the Probation Director in August of 1982 not knowing how long he would stay. Mr. Starks stated that after 40-years he would be retiring, and that his last day would be September 23, 2022. Mr. Starks stated that, “Whoever said that if you have a job that you like, you never feel like you’re going to work, that’s kind of the way it’s been.” Legislator Rumfelt thanked Mr. Starks for his service. Ms. Knapp commented that she will have a request to fill this civil service position on next month’s agenda, and she believes there is at least one person on the list.
WEIGHTS & MEASURES
Weights & Measures Director Gilbert Green attended the meeting and submitted his monthly report to the committee for review.
Sheriff Rick Whitney attended the meeting and submitted his monthly reports to the committee for review
Request to Fill Corrections Officers
Sheriff Whitney requested to fill two full-time Corrections Officers (Local Council 82, Grade: 55, Step: Base) in the Sheriff’s Office. The annual salary for each position is estimated to be between
$47,879.72 and $95,759.44, with benefits estimated to be between $20,894.71 and $41,789.42. This position is funded with 100 percent County funds, and $137,548.86 is included in the 2022 Budget. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Cyr, seconded by Legislator Healy, and carried. Refer to Ways and Means
Request to Create and Fill E 911 Dispatchers
Sheriff Whitney requested to create and fill two full-time E 911 Dispatchers (AFSCME Council 66, Grade:13, Step: Base) in the Sheriff’s Office. These positions will be filled in 2023. The annual salary for each position is estimated to be between $38,466.06 and $76,932.12, with benefits estimated to be between $16,786.59 and $33,573.18. This position is funded with 100 percent County funds, and will be included in the 2023 Budget. Legislator Healy asked if the positions are currently vacant. County Administrator Carissa Knapp stated that these positions do not currently exist. Sheriff Whitney explained that the purpose of requesting them now was to be able to include them in the 2023 Budget. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Cyr, seconded by Legislator Healy, and carried. Refer to Personnel to create and Ways and Means to fill
Request of a Resolution for Permission to move the Part-Time Confidential Secretary to Full-Time Status
Sheriff Whitney requested a resolution to move the current part-time Confidential Secretary to the Sheriff to a full-time position. One of the part-time Confidential Secretaries has resigned. This position already exists in the Sheriff’s Office and is a non-unit 35 hour a week position by Resolution #77-2000. The request was approved on a motion made by Legislator Healy, seconded by Legislator Harris, and carried. Prepare Resolution
Good of the Order
Committee Vice-Chairman Rumfelt announced that there will be a special Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 13 at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the EMS Advisory Board appointments.
There being no further business to come before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 2:01 p.m. following a motion by Legislator Cyr, seconded by Legislator Harris, and carried.
Tiffany Linn, Confidential Secretary Allegany County Board of Legislators