JOHNSTOWN - The city Police Department is taking $15,000 in grant funding it received through the HFM Prevention Council to combat underage drinking and putting it to good use, police Chief Mark Gifford said.
Gifford reported to the Common Council recently that his department received $15,000 as part of a larger grant administered by the Briggs Street-based council.
Originally named the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council of Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery Counties, the council strives to reduce the rate of substance abuse in this area.
In addition to the Johnstown Police Department, Gifford said portions of an overall grant were awarded to the Gloversville Police Department and the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.
Gifford said his department has to use the $15,000 in grant money in the next three months and it is already putting it to good use. He said the purpose of the Johnstown funding is to combat underage drinking and suspects were recently charged with six violations of the city's Social Host Law because of the grant. That law aims to punish those adults who host underage alcohol consumption parties at their homes.
"We were able to put on extra officers and combat that," Gifford said.
The police chief told the council Monday of the arrest of Darby B. McCullers, 24, of 5 Hall Ave., although he didn't mention him by name. Police this week indicated through a news release that McCullers was twice charged with violation of the Social Host Law since October. In the most recent arrest, police said McCullers - who faces action in City Court - hosted a Nov. 2 underage drinking party in which a 15-year-old fell out of a second-floor window and suffered serious injuries.
Continuing his report to the council, Gifford reported the annual winter parking ban is now in effect for the city. Drivers cannot park on city streets from midnight to 6 a.m., through April 1. Pending a major snowstorm, he said officers will probably only warn those who disobey the rule for the first couple weeks.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org