YORK AREA REGIONAL POLICE COMMISSION
MAY 8, 2014
A public meeting of the York Area Regional Police Commission was held on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at the York Area Regional Police Building, 33 Oak St., York, PA 17402.
Those present were Albert Granholm, Commissioner, Jo Anna Shovlin, Commissioner, Carl Dallmeyer, Commissioner, Paul Knepper, Commissioner, Rodney Sechrist, Commissioner, Ronald Smith, Commissioner, Thomas Gross, Chief of Police, Peter Ruth, Solicitor and Tracy Fleming, Business Administrator.
Commissioner Granholm called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. He made an announcement that there is a change in the agenda. The Benecon presentation will be after Public Comment.
Pledge of Allegiance.
Elizabeth Heathcote, York Township Manager, stated she believes it was overkill to have the Chief, Lieutenant, a Sergeant and an Officer to rescue ducks. It should have been York Township’s responsibility to open that drain and no one else’s. So in the future she hopes that York Township would get the call instead of the police. She also understands but did not see it herself; several people have approached her regarding comments on WGAL. The comments were made on Friday night and Saturday this past weekend regarding numerous thefts in Red Lion. It was implied the thefts were because of the manpower decline and the budget cuts in the last five years. She said that comments regarding budget cuts makes her furious because over the last seven years, all of us paying for York Area Regional Police, have seen a 24% increase in those costs. If there is a budget problem it is not exterior but interior. For someone to make that comment on television is totally out of line.
Dianne Price, Red Lion Borough Manager, stated she had comments along the same line. She also heard the same thing that a reduction in hours is responsible for the break-ins. First of all it would have been nice to know there is a problem. She had not heard anything until it was already in the press that there were break-ins. Evidently they started about January. She stated she reviewed the hours and right now Red Lion Borough has an additional 15 hours that they did not use. She said the Borough is getting certain tickets written such as facing the wrong way in traffic. So maybe these hours could be better spent. The Borough does not have any control over that. It was very upsetting for Council to hear this on the news and then to hear it was their responsibility due to a reduction in hours. She also did contact the Chief regarding the two liaisons for Red Lion Borough that are to keep them informed and up to date on police matters. This was in the last contract. She has not heard anything from them. It doesn’t need to be at a meeting to hear from someone. They are here every month and in their office every day.
Keith Dyke asked if anyone saw the report on TV. They stated they did not but people told them what was said. The Chief stated he did see the report but doesn’t recollect or recall that anything was said specifically about a responsibility of anyone having cut hours that is causing crime. There was a comment that we do have reduced manpower. The Chief will try and obtain a copy of the report. It is probably still available. He did see it and he would say both descriptions of it are not what he recollects of it. He does not recall it word for word. He stated it was a report by Sergeant Dunbar, our public information officer and it was regarding the thefts in Red Lion. It was on WGAL. Commissioner Granholm does have a comment on this but he will reserve it until the Commission’s comments at the end of the meeting. Walter Hughes inquired if there is a contact person for Red Lion and if they do who is it. Commissioner Granholm stated he believes the Chief did respond to the email regarding this issue. The one officer was Officer Spangler who just retired and we will work on getting that reestablished and get a second person.
Commissioner Sechrist stated it was his understanding the liaisons were not allowed to come to the meetings for the last couple years. He had talked to some Councilmen and they did not want the police at the meetings. Walter Hughes responded to Commissioner Sechrist. He said one of the things we did when looking at our budget and money was look at the officer attending our Council meetings. We are paying for the office to show up at the meeting. He reads a report and most of it is police jargon which all police officers are taught not to put police jargon in their reports. Most of the people probably 90 percent do not know what Part 1 and Part 2 crimes are. He stated we ask a question and all we get back from the officer is I will get back to you. There is no reason to have somebody at the meeting when the officer can be better served being on patrol or out doing his duty rather than sitting at a boring Council meeting. When we have something we can contact the liaison officer. There is no need for us to include this in our budget. We have a bad budget. We are really hurting. We are cutting everyplace that we can to try and save money without having to raise taxes that was the reason for it. It was strictly monetary. There is no reason to have an officer sit there for an hour or two. Commissioner Sechrist said when an officer comes to Windsor Township he gives his report and then leaves. Now you come to this meeting and ask what is going on when you are the ones that said you do not want an officer at the meetings. Walter Hughes said a good image of a police department is to maintain good communication. People on the Borough council have less contact. We are the elected officials. We know people and people are talking to us. We talk to people constantly. We could probably be an asset to the police department at the same time. We complained for over a year about the drug activity at 22 North Main Street. Nothing was ever done until there was a shooting there and it is his understanding it is still not solved. Commissioner Granholm stated you must decide whether or not you want a liaison officer at the meeting. If an officer is there it is billable time. I am hearing you do then I am hearing you don’t. Dianne Price stated she did not say come to the meeting but to contact us when something happens. We are always available. Walter Hughes stated we just want someone we can contact. Commissioner Granholm stated he understands their finances but just tell us what you want. Let us address it and we will do the best we can. He understands they do not want the time. What type of events do they want reported? Do we call if it is two events of this or that? It becomes subjective. Give us some guidance on what you are looking for like when you think it would be appropriate for us to contact you. You are always welcome to contact him anytime you want. Walter Hughes stated this is reasonable and we will get something worked out. The Chief stated we will get something to them. He stated we did send a copy of the news release to Red Lion Borough. Dianne Price said they received it on Monday and this happened Friday.
Commissioner Granholm introduced Jonathan Ebersole our account representative with Benecon. He gave a presentation about healthcare plans. He will also offer some recommendations for some possible cost savings.
APPROVAL OR AMENDMENT TO MINUTES OF APRIL 10, 2014
Commissioner Shovlin made a motion to approve the April 10, 2014 minutes, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
The Chief informed the Commissioners that he received an application from George McGee to enter the IROP. Commissioner Shovlin made a motion to approve the IROP application for George McGee, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORT
The Chief informed the Commissioners that he did ask the Solicitor if we can only select from applicants that have Act 120 training. The Solicitor informed him that is not allowable under the Civil Service rules. The Chief reviewed his police officer hiring plan with the Commissioners. The Civil Service rules require a motion comes from the Commission asking for an updated Civil Service list. The Chief would like to have a list to present at the June meeting. The Chief would like to recommend that we hire at least two but that is entirely up to the Commission. He would like to do at the June meeting because if they do not have Act 120 training they need to start at the academy on July 1. A motion was made by Commissioner Shovlin to have the Civil Service Commission provide an updated Civil Service list, seconded by Commissioner Granholm, motion carried.
POLICE SERVICE CONTRACT UPDATES
Dallastown Area School District – Attorney Ruth informed the Commissioners that Attorney Hovis was very close to a final document that should be presented at the June meeting.
Dallastown Borough – Commissioner Smith informed the Commissioners that Dallastown Borough needs to email the Chief and Commissioner Granholm to set up a meeting to discuss the contract. He will have the Borough Manager do that within the next week.
Red Lion Borough – Dianne Price stated they would like the Commission to appoint a committee to meet with the Borough. It was decided that Commissioner Granholm and Commissioner Smith will meet with Red Lion Borough.
Grants – The Chief informed the Commissioners that we have received preliminary information that out Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant application with the US Justice Department would be for twelve vests. The cost for the twelve vests will be $11,704.92. There is a formula used by the Justice Department to determine the Grant amount. He stated based on our past experience it will be about 50 percent which is $5,852.46.
He informed the Commissioners we did receive confirmation from York City there are JAG funds available for the Feet on the Street program.
Monthly Reports – The Chief reviewed the monthly report. The Chief advised the Commissioners that Miscellaneous Receipts was already over the budgeted amount. This is due to the money received from the sale of the K-9. The Chief reviewed the expenses and informed the Commissioner that we purchased our own paper towel and toilet paper dispensers which will save us money. We also purchased our own mats instead of using the services of Coyne Textile. Commissioner Granholm stated he still has concern over the salary line items. The Chief informed him he is working on a spreadsheet that should help explain the salary budget. Commissioner Granholm stated that we need to do a budget workshop to make the budget more accurate. Commissioner Sechrist asked who authorizes all of this overtime and how did it get so large. The Chief stated it is mostly the Lieutenant. The Chief reviewed the overtime needed due to shortages on some of the shifts. He also reviewed the manpower requirements. The Chief inquired when the budget workshop would be started. Commissioner Granholm would like to have it started by July.
Approval of Expenses for April 1 – 30, 2014 – $494,874.72
Commissioner Granholm asked for a motion to approve the expenses for April 1 – 30, 2014 in the amount of $494,874.72. A motion to approve the expenses was made by Commissioner Dallmeyer, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
The Chief advised the Commissioners he had capital purchase requests to review with the Commissioners. The first purchase would be to replace Car 12 that was in the crash. The insurance company did total the car. We will receive $33,877.45 for the car which includes the equipment in the car. He stated we must get a sedan, we would rather get the utility but the equipment that is salvageable from the wrecked car will only fit on a sedan. The cost for a 2015 sedan is $29,291 this is the state contract price from Apple Ford. The total cost will be $33,877.45 with the upfit, replacement of the damaged equipment, vinyl wrap, decals plus the in-car camera. The Chief stated we would like to also add the driver’s license scanner and printer for a total of $1,014. The total out of pocket cost would be $6,619.55. Commissioner Granholm made a motion to use $6,619.55 from the Capital Purchases account to cover the out of pocket costs to replace Car 12, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
The Chief informed the Commissioners that we had a crash of our in house video recording equipment and are using a borrowed DVR. We currently have 16 cameras that we do recordings of and then put in the evidence vault. The Chief stated we did get two prices. One is from Choice Security for $3,875 and also one from Activations, Inc. for $2,225. The Chief stated Choice Security is who we worked with in the past. The Chief advised we would take this out of the Capital Purchases-Minor Equipment account. A motion was made by Commissioner Shovlin to purchase the equipment from Activations, Inc. for $2,225, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
We also need items for the two officers assigned to the Quick Response Team. They both need encrypted radios. We are still trying to negotiate this item or do some trades. We do need approval to purchase a tactical vest at $2,213. He informed the Commissioners that the vest is not eligible for the Justice Assistance Grant. The Chief stated this will be charged to the Uniform line item. Commissioner Granholm made a motion to purchase in the amount of $2,213.80 a tactical vest which is part of the QRT upfit to be charged to line item 610.238 Uniforms, seconded by Commissioner Shovlin, motion carried.
The Chief informed the Commissioner he is working on a five year capital plan. The one item in the plan is the in-car cameras. The approximate amount to replace all of the cameras is $80,000. The reason he is bringing this up now is because in the new car we are purchasing he would like to put a new camera in the car instead of the previous generation one. The backbone of this would at least cause us to put in the server and wireless receiver for just one camera. He would like to refine this purchase. This is just for informational purposes right now. The Chief reviewed the cameras we are currently using and how he would like to begin replacing them. There was a discussion on the storage policy on the DVDs. The Chief stated we are currently reviewing changing our storage policy.
The Chief discussed the purchase of new AEDs. He would like to draft a letter to send to businesses then email it to the Commissioners to review. The cost of an AED is $2,250. Commissioner Smith asked where we get the pricing for the AEDs. Lieutenant Zech informed him we chose to have the model that is compatible with our ambulance service. The majority of the ones we are currently using were acquired from a grant from the Heart Association. Some also came from the Masons and also the realtor Rick Smith.
Attorney Ruth had no actions to report on tonight. At the last meeting there was a discussion involving disclosure of officer disciplinary issues. They are reviewing what information can be shared. The concern is what if the disciplinary action is appealed. He thinks we need to have a policy and procedure on reviewing disciplinary actions. They are trying to make sure there is no bias in the process. There will be a full report that Attorney Hovis will present at the June meeting.
POLICE CHIEF’S REPORT
The Chief reported there are several major investigations right now including the accident with Car 12 on April 3, 2014 thankfully there were no serious injuries. The Officer that was involved is back to full duty. On April 5, 2014 there was a 21 year old man killed riding a snowmobile into a tree which was in Windsor Township. On April 27, 2014 there was a suicide investigated in Windsor Township. Also there was a shooting in York Township on April 29, 2014 that involved the arrest of a Baltimore City police officer. The annual performance evaluations have been completed and reviewed. There are two citizen complaints under investigation. We had 320 pounds of drugs in the Drug Take Back program. He told the Commissioners there are mileage and training reports in their packets. He wanted to remind everyone that May 15th is Police Memorial Day. Flags should be flown at half-mast in recognition of Police Memorial Day. The Accreditation is scheduled for June 5 and 6. The review with the assessors should be on June 6. He informed the Commissioners he has scheduled himself to attend the following meetings to present the annual report – Dallastown Borough, Windsor Township, York Township and Yoe Borough. He is working to try and schedule the other municipalities.
Commissioner Smith had no comments.
Commissioner Sechrist said we are trying to keep the budget down. Do you realize how much money we got rid of tonight? The things we bring up are actually needed.
Commissioner Knepper had no comments.
Commissioner Dallmeyer had no comments.
Commissioner Shovlin had no comments.
Commissioner Granholm informed the Commissioners he did meet with the Chief the other week to go over things. He stated we did find out from Benecon what our rebate will be which is approximately $281,000. The Chief stated we will only get 75% of that amount which is approximately $211,000. He would like to know what that excess is. It would be his recommendation to set that money aside and try to start a reserve fund. We need to start to build our reserves back up in this department. There was a discussion on the excess funds. He wanted to make a comment on the TV interview. He did not see the interview but his wife did. He knows we have an information officer. He feels the only information that should come from the information officer is the matter at hand. Any other comments need to come from the Board. The Chief stated we will review the comments. Commissioner Granholm stated if there were any comments on labor we feel that is inappropriate.
The Commission recessed for an executive session at 8:00 pm to discuss contract and personnel issues.
The Commission reconvened at 8:41 pm.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shovlin to adjourn the meeting at 8:41 pm, seconded by Commissioner Dallmeyer, motion carried.
Respectfully submitted and recorded by,
Tracy L. Fleming
UPCOMING MEETING DATES
June 12, 2014
July 10, 2014
August 14, 2014
September 11, 2014
October 9, 2014
November 12, 2014
December 11, 2014
January 8, 2015