JPD plans to hire officer

JOHNSTOWN – City police Chief Mark Gifford is soliciting resumes for a new police officer to replace one who resigned last month in the midst of his disciplinary hearing.

Gifford said he wants to fill the open police officer position.

He didn’t mention former city officer Jason Kohout by name, but he was referring to the vacancy created when Kohout resigned March 7 during a disciplinary hearing.

Kohout was suspended by the city July 5 without pay, but after 30 days, had his pay reinstated. City officials have declined to give a reason for Kohout’s hearing.

With the resignation, the city Police Department is down to 23 officers.

Gifford said he is taking resumes from people interested in the vacancy. He isn’t sure if he will hire an officer from another police department, which he said is more “advantageous,” or someone graduating from the police academy.

“We’ll be interviewing in a week or two,” the chief said.

In other department-head reports to the Common Council this week:

-Michelle Jones, director of the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, reported the center will host guest speaker Sandy Nellis Lane at 1:15 p.m. Thursday. She will speak about her book, “The Trail of the Wild Flowers.”

Jones said the center’s final Soup and Sandwich Luncheon will be conducted April 25 with an NBT Bank representative discussing governmental changes in Social Security deposits.

– Fire Chief Bruce Heberer reported city code enforcement efforts have started to pick up with weather getting warmer. He predicted a busy spring for his department. He said his department has been training with the city Department of Public Works.

He said firefighters have been doing spring cleaning at the firehouse.

“I found a file cabinet my father used to use,” Heberer said.

His father, former Johnstown Fire Chief Edward Heberer, served in that position from 1983 to 1996.

Michael Anich can be reached at