County approves mutual aid deal

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County legislators on Monday authorized what county Administrative Officer Jon Stead called an “all-inclusive” mutual aid plan between the county Sheriff’s Department, Gloversville Police Department and Johnstown Police Department.

The Board of Supervisors approved the mutual aid agreement that runs until Dec. 31, 2021 at its monthly meeting at the County Office Building.

“It’s a very all-encompassing mutual-aid plan for all aspects of the departments’ operations,” Stead said.

Sheriff Richard Giardino had requested execution of what he termed a “Police Services Mutual Aid Agreement” between the three law enforcement agencies.

The resolution passed Monday says the agreement “formalizes the relationship between local governments and their police departments,” enhancing and defining the scope of interagency cooperation. It also eliminates the need to follow formal procedure to request assistance from the other party for personnel and equipment.

It provides for “more efficient utilization” of law enforcement resources and services, including public safety dispatch services and animal control services.

The resolution also provides for “enhanced effectiveness of response” to requests to handle and resolve law enforcement intervention situations.

Officials believe the agreement will ensure an “adequate number of trained and equipped law enforcement officers” to handle and resolve emergency, disaster and violent situations. It is also expected to cover routine law enforcement services that can’t be met with resources of one of the parties.

The agreement is also expected to provide for: development of joint policies, procedures and use of training exercises or programs where skills, knowledge, procedures and expertise are shared with each department and personnel. It provides for the possibility of obtaining and maintaining shared equipment.

The formal agreement was released by the board and covers 10 articles: purpose, scope, power and authorization, control of personnel and equipment, compensation and expenses, liability and indemnification, rules and regulations, cooperation and line of duty death or injury; approval, modification and termination; and miscellaneous.

The board also authorized a new contract with Spectrum Communications of Amsterdam — formerly Time Warner — for a dedicated data sharing service with the Gloversville and Johnstown police departments. The old contract had been in place since 2011, but has expired.

Officials said two dedicated telephone lines in the sheriff’s department Dispatch Center connect directly to the city police stations.

Giardino and county Information Services Director Perry Lovell recommended purchasing a new connection now available that doubles the bandwidth between the sheriff’s office on Route 29 and the Gloversville police station on Frontage Road and the Johnstown police station on East Main Street

Board Chairman Mike Kinowski was authorized to sign an agreement with Spectrum for two dedicated data sharing circuits. The installation fee is $750, the monthly fee will be $402.66, and duration of the service is 60 months.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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