Fulton County government looking to make a safer place for all

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government is launching into the third and final year of its New Neighborhood Plan.

The public safety plan is being funded through a 2017 capital project, and assists the office of county District Attorney Chad Brown.

“This year is the third year of what we call the New Neighborhood Plan pilot project,” county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said Tuesday.

The capital project identifies $90,000 set aside for surveillance and intelligence gathering tools as part of Brown’s office. The plan’s goal is to assist law enforcement and in turn, make Fulton County a safer place to live.

In action taken by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee Monday, the panel voted to establish the plan for surveillance and intelligence gathering. The full board votes March 13. The $90,000 cost is being paid by the county.

Funds will expended as follows through Brown’s office: mobile license plate readers, $39,575; personal surveillance device, $1,000; cellphone downloader, $12,390; impact intelligence software, $18,467; in-car DWI camera, $5,500; and miscellaneous expenses.

The New Neighborhood Plan is in its third year, and that plan itself is the third major initiative contained in the county’s “strategic plan” done the past five or six years.

Fulton County’s first element of the Strategic Plan was to streamline county government in 2011 by doing such things as selling the nursing home, transferring mental health services to private agencies, and laying off certain personnel.

The second phase of the plan is the ongoing “Jump Start: Fulton County” economic development initiative involving such projects as Smart Waters, the Tryon Technology Park redevelopment in Perth and the proposed regional business park on Route 30A.

Stead said elements of the New Neighborhood Plan pilot project that have already been completed include securing an intelligence officer position within county law enforcement. That position has been held the past two years by former Fulton County sheriff’s deputy Marc Hallenbeck, he said.

He said that at the Public Safety Committee’s next meetings — either March 27 or April 24 — supervisors may decide what else should be done with the New Neighborhood Plan.

Stead said Brown will “provide an update on the progress” of the plan to the committee.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

By Patricia Older

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