Sheriff asks to replace recorder

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino wants to replace the 911 Communication Center’s voice login recorder, which has “safety and quality control” issues.

The sheriff recently told the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee that the total cost of the project is $66,340.

Giardino said the sheriff’s office last fall started experiencing problems with its 10-year-old recorder. The equipment records all phone calls and radio transmissions in and out of the emergency Communications Center on Route 29.

“The equipment was not recording or storing some phone and radio transmissions,’ he said. “There were clarity issues with some of the other communications recordings that were reviewed. We believe that this was the result of recent communications upgrades.”

Giardino said that county Information Services Director Perry Lovell, county Civil Defense/Fire Coordinator Steven Santa Maria and sheriff’s staff and outside vendors all attempted to fix the situation. He said the group collectively agreed the problem was that although the recorder stores information in digital form, the interfaces to the radios and telephone equipment are analog only and do not work with all of the new equipment.

“I don’t understand it, but there’s a difference between digital and analog,” Giardino said.

The sheriff said he wishes to purchase a new system from Syracuse-based Continuum Systems – a qualified state vendor under the state bid rules – with funds derived from e-911 surcharges.

“It is clearly an enhanced 911 surcharge-eligible expense,” Giardino said.

Nearly $24,000 of the total cost of the $66,340 project would be for a five-year, pre-paid maintenance agreement.

In other matters before supervisors, Giardino received permission to amend his budget to receive a $1,000 donation from Benjamin Moore & Co. of Johnstown.

Giardino also requested permission to replace an existing commercial dishwasher at the Fulton County Jail at a county cost of $15,502. He said the existing unit is “beyond repair.”

He said the current jail dishwasher was purchased when the facility was built 24 years ago. Giardino said his department has experienced problems with it since last fall. He said the county maintenance staff made numerous repairs to keep it in compliance with state Correction Commission requirements.

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

By Josh Bovee

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