YORK AREA REGIONAL POLICE COMMISSION
JANUARY 9, 2014
A public meeting of the York Area Regional Police Commission was held on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at the York Area Regional Police Building, 33 Oak St., York, PA 17402.
Those present were Albert Granholm, Commissioner, Jo Anna J. Shovlin, Commissioner, Carl Dallmeyer, Commissioner, Paul Knepper, Commissioner, Rodney Sechrist, Commissioner, Ronald Smith, Commissioner, Thomas Gross, Chief of Police, and Tracy Fleming, Business Administrator.
Commissioner Granholm called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Granholm introduced the new Commission members which are Jo Anna J. Shovlin from Windsor Township and Carl Dallmeyer, Citizen at Large selected by York Township.
Commissioner Shovlin nominated Commissioner Granholm for the Chairman of the Board for 2014, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
Commissioner Granholm nominated Commissioner Shovlin for Vice-Chairperson of the Board for 2014, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
Commissioner Granholm nominated Commissioner Dallmeyer for Secretary/Treasurer of the Board for 2014, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
MEETING DATES FOR 2014
The Chief discussed the meeting dates for February 2014 to January 2015. The meetings will be the second Thursday of the month at 6:00 pm except for November, 2014. In November it will be the second Wednesday of the month which is November 12, 2014 due to a conflict for Windsor Township. Commissioner Shovlin made a motion to approve the meeting dates for February 2014 to January 2015, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
Officer Mark Price introduced himself to the Commission. He is the President of the Police Association for 2014 and 2015. He stated he has an open door policy. If anybody has any questions, they can contact him or Detective Hopple, Jr. who is the Vice-President. He stated it is a contract year and they would like to get started sooner than later. Commissioner Granholm asked if the Commission could have a list of their negotiation team. Officer Price will have it to him by Monday.
Elizabeth Heathcote, York Township Manager stated she sees there is a new website and asked if it is complete. The Chief stated he was going to report on the website under his report. There is a new website which was activated on January 1, 2014. This was due to a change in providers. There are several items that still need to be completed on the website.
APPROVAL OR AMENDMENT TO MINUTES OF DECEMBER 12, 2013
Commissioner Granholm made a motion to approve the December 12, 2013 minutes, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
The Chief informed the Commissioners that he sent a letter to Mrs. Judith Heaps acknowledging her $500 donation towards the DARE program.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORT
The Chief informed the Commissioners that the term for Commissioner Hamberger, II was expiring and he needs to be reappointed. His term expired the end of 2013. Commissioner Shovlin made a motion to appoint Commissioner Hamberger, II to the Civil Service Commission for a three year term (2014, 2015 and 2016), seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
POLICE SERVICE CONTRACT UPDATES
The Chief had nothing new to report on the contract updates for Dallastown Area School District or Red Lion Borough. He just wants to keep them on the agenda. He would also like to add Dallastown Borough to the list since their contract ends on December 31, 2014. Commissioner Granholm updated the new Commission members on the contract issues.
The Chief stated Resolution 2014-01 needed to be approved which is adding new signers to the accounts with Metro Bank. Commissioner Granholm made a motion to approve Resolution 2014-01, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
Grants – There was nothing new to report.
The Chief stated the new line item was added to the budget – PCOR Tax. This amount was removed from General Expense. The Commissioners received a copy of the revised budget.
The Chief reviewed the various financial statements with the new Commission members. He informed them on the other three fund statements. The Chief reviewed the financial statements with the Commissioners. There was a discussion on breaking the budget out on a month to month basis.
There was a discussion on approving expenses over a certain dollar amount. The Chief stated in the past he believes it was anything over $10,000. Commissioner Shovlin stated she would like to see any capital expenses over $1,000 be approved by the Commission before purchase. She also stated she feels if an emergency purchase is needed she respects the Chief’s decision to approve an expense that is an emergency. She told the Chief she is always available by email. Commissioner Shovlin made a motion that all capital expenses over $1,000 be approved by the Commission before purchase, seconded by Commissioner Granholm, motion carried. Elizabeth Heathcote wanted to clarify on what Commissioner Shovlin just said about approving expenses by email. She stated you do not want to approve expenses by email. It was determined that Commissioner Shovlin did not state approval by email in her motion for capital expenses over $1,000. There was a discussion on approving expense on an emergency basis.
Approval of Expenses for December 1 – 31, 2013 – $562,546.69
Commissioner Granholm asked for a motion to approve the expenses for December 1 – 31, 2013 in the amount of $562,546.69. A motion to approve the expenses was made by Commissioner Granholm, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
Review of proposals for auditing services
The Chief discussed the proposals from the various accounting firms. He stated the fees ranged from $5,150 to $15,000. The Commissioners decided to table this matter to the February meeting so they can review the various proposals.
The Chief informed the Commissioners that currently Commissioner Granholm is the representative to the Pension Advisory Board. Commissioner Granholm stated if someone else would like to be on the Pension Advisory Board he is happy to let them do that. He would also still be willing to serve on that Board if they wanted him to do so. He stated that Board meets quarterly. Chief Gross reviewed the individuals that serve on the Pension Advisory Board. It was decided that Commissioner Granholm would still be the representative from the Commission.
There is no report.
POLICE CHIEF’S REPORT
The Chief stated as he said earlier the webpage was changed on January 1, 2014. The Chief reviewed the reasons for the webpage change.
He stated unfortunately there were also two auto fatalities.
There was a letter received from West Manchester Township Police thanking Officer Sampere and Vilko for their assistance in searching a building that has been burglarized.
A letter was also received thanking Officer Dibble for his investigation into a hit and run on Christmas Eve.
There was a letter of appreciation received for Corporal Georgiou and Officer Meashey on the recovery of a weapon.
The Chief stated Officer Meashey has completed his field training and Officer R. Miller has started his field training.
He also wanted to inform the Commissioners that K-9 Vilko has been reassigned from Officer Sampere to Officer Boyce. Officer Boyce is scheduled to undergo training with Vilko.
The Chief informed the Commissioners that the department has changed their cleaning service to Threefold Janitorial Service. Tara Hengst had previously been cleaning the facility. She had been an employee of the department for ten years. He stated the new janitorial service started the beginning of the new year.
Commissioner Knepper inquired where the K-9 is now. The Chief informed him he is in the kennel at Castle K-9. The Chief explained the process of taking the K-9 from one handler to a new handler.
The Chief advised the Commissioners there have been discussions at the York County Chief of Police Association meetings on converting to propane for police fleet vehicles. Lieutenant Zech has been meeting with other departments to review this option. The Chief stated there is a likelihood we could be asking to put two vehicles into this pilot program. He turned the discussion over to Lieutenant Zech. Lieutenant Zech stated the three main police departments in the discussion with Aero Energy are York City, Northern York County Regional and York Area Regional. He stated it would be a multi fuel system. The vehicles would run on propane and gasoline. The advantage to switching to propane is cost savings. The cost right now for propane is $1.75 a gallon. The problems we need to overcome are who is going to pay for the up fitting of the vehicles, fuel location and the fuel tank location in the vehicles. Aero Energy would be willing to pay for the expense of up fitting the vehicles as long as we buy their propane. They would be willing to drop a propane tank at our police department. We are also looking at other fueling options such as Rutter’s. He stated Aero Energy has two fueling locations right now. One is in Abbottstown and the other is in Shrewsbury which are not convenient for our department. The main problem right now is the fuel tank location. They had originally wanted to put the fuel tank in the trunk of the vehicle but there is no room for a fuel tank in the trunk of a police vehicle. One of the main questions is the gas mileage will it be better or worse? They are being told and all of the documentation provided states the miles per gallon will be about the same. There was a discussion on propane, natural gas and gasoline usage. Commissioner Granholm asked where we would be if we enter this program with Aero Energy and they would eventually pull out of the program. The Chief stated the same because the vehicles would still be able to run on gasoline. The Chief stated we are not ready to make any kind of decision. He just wanted to let the Commission know about the discussions.
Elizabeth Heathcote inquired if there was a separate charge for the K-9 being in the kennel or was this part of the training. The Chief stated he was not sure of the answer to the question. He will need to look into it and get back to the Commission with the answer.
Commissioner Smith had no comments.
Commissioner Sechrist had no comments.
Commissioner Knepper welcomed Commissioner Shovlin and Commissioner Dallmeyer. He asked the Chief if all of the calls on the Activity Report are 911 calls. The Chief stated they are not all 911 calls but the majority of them are. He asked Commissioner Granholm if there was a deadline on when the negotiation teams needed to be in place. Commissioner Granholm stated he is hoping by next month the teams will be in place. He said the Police Commission needs to make some serious changes this year. He would like to see the changes done sooner than later. He also stated about two years ago he did a walk around above the building. He found many areas had no insulation or very little insulation. With the frigid weather we just had this past week; we will have savings from the additional insulation.
Commissioner Dallmeyer stated it is a lot to take in. He looks forward to being a part of the Commission and thanked everyone for putting their trust in him. He is going to try and digest all of the information that he has.
Commissioner Shovlin thanked the Commissioners and hopes she has a good year with everyone. She thinks we have a great team on the Commission. She also thanked everyone in the audience. She stated please understand if she makes a mistake. She knows she has Elizabeth Heathcote to watch over her. She is new to this so if she makes a mistake she is sorry. It is a learning process. She is looking forward to working with everyone.
Commissioner Granholm welcomed the new members. He stated this is a new board pretty much for the first time. He looks at the whole board not just the voting members. He values everyone’s input and encourages everyone’s input. He has an expectation everyone will be active and play a role on this Board. He stated we have several big decisions to make this year and processes to get through. One is the Police Commission working with the Officers on a new contract. His intention is to work with them not to go into this with any animosity. He would like to try and understand each other to work through to a mutual and beneficial agreement. It does not do anyone any good to immediately come out of the box arguing and fighting. He wants to recommend the following after talking to York Township’s solicitor. He would like to extend a possible invitation to members of the Windsor Township Board and the York Township Board to join this Commission in an executive session sometime in the near future. He stated the reason for this is to talk about how we want to handle negotiations and the upcoming contract. It is vital we get input from both boards and Commissioner Smith who represents all of our contracting municipalities. He would like everyone to think about it maybe meet as soon as February if we can arrange something. It could be after the regular monthly meeting. He is not talking about an all-night meeting but an hour or two. It would be a chance to get everyone’s input on what they would like to see and what is critical to them. Everyone can hear and is in the same room then we are all together. Then when we approach the police we know what we need and how we want to handle it. This should help push the process along that much quicker. It suits him and Commissioner Knepper who are both on the York Township Board for next month. He is extending this offer to Windsor Township and this Commission. It is his understanding legally we can do in an executive session since it has to do with contract negation. We do have the right to invite other people into our executive sessions. That is what he is offering right now. It is one of those things like Commissioner Knepper said we want to act on now not later. We need to get an understanding among us then when we can more effectively work with the Police Association and not have to go back and forth. He would like to do it after next month’s meeting. He is not sure the best way to communicate this to each other probably through emails. Let us know if next month works or if there is an alternate date that is better. The other thing he is going to do is formulate a budget committee pretty quickly. So when we get to the middle of the year, we can start working on the budget right away. It is his recommendation we also do a public budget session and offer the public a chance to come in and comment on the budget as we develop it versus when it is in its final phase. So when we get to December we have a document that everyone has had a chance to put in their input and we have the best document we could possibly have. George Jones, York Township Commissioner asked Commissioner Granholm was the invitation to discuss negotiations for the contracting municipalities as well as the charter municipalities. Commissioner Granholm stated Commissioner Smith represents the contracting municipalities and will be involved. Commissioner Granholm stated if someone feels strongly they want to be in the meetings then okay but he doesn’t want it getting too big. Commissioner Smith will send out invitations to the contracting municipalities to check if any of them are interested on sitting in on the meetings.
The Commission recessed for an executive session at 7:05 pm. to discuss a personnel matter.
The Commission reconvened at 7:30 pm.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shovlin to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 pm, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
Respectfully submitted and recorded by,
Tracy L. Fleming
UPCOMING MEETING DATES
February 13, 2014 March 13, 2014 April 10, 2014
May 8, 2014 June 12, 2014 July 10, 2014
August 14, 2014 September 11, 2014 October 9, 2014
November 12, 2014 December 11, 2014 January 8, 2015
David Hamberger, II