JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino is making training and internal controls a priority in his first year, asking county leaders to create three temporary part-time positions that would bring officers’ continuing education in-house while also providing expertise in updating policies and regulations.
“We haven’t had much of a budget for sending people to training,” said Giardino, a former county district attorney and county judge who was elected in November.
Giardino’s proposal, which was supported by the county Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety, Personnel and Finance committees, calls for spending about $15,000 from the per-diem budget, which pays part-time deputies. Giardino said it’s the same money that would have been used to pay officers traveling to training elsewhere in the state.
One of the new employees would teach officers tactical skills, with a focus on active-shooter training and ensuring officers’ safety in the field, Giardino said. Another would be an investigative analyst, adviser and instructor who would review and develop investigative regulations and set up systems to investigate and review cold cases.
A forensic evidence instructor and auditor would train the staff in handling evidence, Giardino said.
“We really need a full, independent audit of our evidence locker,” he said. “They will be sure the drugs, guns and money are all accounted for.”
The positions could cost the county about $15,000 this year, with each instructor earning $18.12 an hour. The tactical trainer would work no more than 50 hours a month. The other positions would be capped at 30 hours a month. The positions would last only 18 months.
The new positions would need the approval of the full Board of Supervisors, which meets Nov. 8.