DA seeks funding for video upgrades

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira hopes to apply for a $15,000 state grant to upgrade video recording equipment for the county’s three largest police agencies.

The Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee on Tuesday approved Sira’s request to apply for the grant, which would be 100 percent funded by the state.

The request must be approved by the full Board of Supervisors, which will meet Sept. 9.

“Law enforcement asked me to apply,” Sira said. “I’ve talked to the two [city police] chiefs and the sheriff and they’re eligible for up to $5,000 [each].”

Sira said the funding is a state 2013-14 Video Recording of Statement Equipment Grant, which would award $15,000 total between the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the Gloversville Police Department and the Johnstown Police Department.

She said this grant will be used to update police video recording equipment purchased through a previous grant. She said funding will be used for camera upgrades, microphone, power supply and transformer.

In other action by the committee involving Sira’s department:

A proposed resolution declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month was approved. Sira said her office is “dedicated to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence.” She said victims of such crimes can get help in the county.

The committee approved Sira’s request to apply for a $119,668 state Office of Victim Services Grant covering October 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. The county share is $6,437; the state share is $94,731; and other in-kind contributions account for $18,500 of the grant.

“This is the crime victims’ grant that pays for our two advocates,” Sira told supervisors.

She also received permission to send those advocates – Stephanie Porter and Lisa Cimo – to a conference on family violence in Niagara Falls.

A proposed resolution that would create a new part-time typist in Sira’s office was approved. The person would work 2.5 days a week and be paid $12,005 annually. Sira said the position is needed as her office “continues to struggle with the front-window workload.”

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead noted the position used to be a full-time legal secretary, but it was eliminated in 2010, along with other positions in the county.

“I don’t think we should be neglecting services in this department if it’s needed,” said Stratford Supervisor Robert Johnson Jr.

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