F.C. Sheriff: Personnel shortages persist

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino discusses personnel issues with the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee on Monday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino on Monday again illustrated personnel shortages for county supervisors.

Giardino said the sheriff’s office is dealing with shortages for various reasons, such as deputies leaving for other police departments.

He requested a proposed resolution Monday from the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee to approve a new deputy position through the county’s 2020 budget. He originally requested a corporal position, but has since dropped that request in favor of a deputy.

“There was some tepid support for a corporal position,” Giardino said.

The sheriff said he was told he had to come back and revise his personnel request.

Giardino said the total 2020 county request for the deputy position is $48,776 per year, which includes $24,000 in benefits. He said the starting rate of the deputy would be $23.45 per hour. The position would be added to the road patrol to increase coverage on the road. This would allow for a total road patrol of 20 members, Giardino said.

Benefits of an additional deputy, he said, include improved safety, and he noted calls of service have increased by over 30 percent since 2015 and arrests are up over 60 percent.

The committee approved the proposed deputy position, moving it on the Finance Committee, which is also the Budget Review Committee, for its consideration.

Giardino also presented the committee with an “informational” item in which he presented various possible personnel situations for the future. He said that on Aug. 1, the sheriff’s department had all 19 positions filled.

“By Nov. 10, we’ll be short four positions,” Giardino said.

He said there has to be a plan of action regarding certain positions. Under his plan, all funds to cover moves are in the 2019 budget.

“The intent is we attempt to keep all our shifts,” including a night patrol, Giardino said.

In a separate statement issued by the sheriff to the media after the meeting, he stated: “We will be down four road patrol deputies by mid-November, if we don’t find appropriate replacements. We will continue to run 24 hours with reduced staffing. However our priorities will be 911 calls. The public may have to wait on non-emergency calls for longer than they currently do. I want to thank all the members of Road Patrol who are filling the open shifts and the part-timers who have been a big help.”

Giardino’s informational scenario includes permissions to: fill a sergeant’s position provisionally with a corporal or investigator due to a Sept. 27 resignation; fill a corporal or investigator’s position with a deputy temporarily; fill a deputy position temporarily due to a promotion to corporal or investigator; fill a deputy position due to a lateral move to the Johnstown Police Department, effective Oct. 19 permanently; fill a deputy position due to a resignation effective Nov. 10; and fill two other deputy positions with temporary deputies.

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

By Josh Bovee

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