County seeks funds for resource officer

Wants school officer for rural schools in region

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday takes action on a school resource officer at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday authorized seeking a $125,000 federal grant to fund a school resource officer for area schools.

The resolution passed by the board at the County Office Building noted Sheriff Richard Giardino requested application for a U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Grant for a three-year program.

The grant would provide partial funding for a rotating deputy school resource officer, contingent upon a local matching share provided by participating school districts. Giardino previously said the officer would cost the school systems $7,000 per year apiece for three years. The county may pick up funding after three years.

Grant funding may potentially serve the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, Wheelerville Union Free School District, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District, Northville Central School District and Mayfield Central School District.

Supervisors also passed a separate resolution endorsing three main goals for the School Resource Officer Program.

The first goal is creation of the officer to be “rotated periodically” to enhance rapport with students, parents and school staff. The officer will also “be available to assist each school’s administrators in their efforts toward security preparedness and prevention of incidents,” the goal indicates.

The second goal sets up a School Assessment Assistance Program. Outside sources to assist are federal agencies, state police, state Sheriff’s Association, NRA School Shield program and others.

A third goal relates to the county’s new Neighborhood Plan’s school safety component. That component will focus on new technology and equipment purchases.

“The Board of Supervisors endorses the three goals listed herein to develop and guide the Fulton County sheriff’s School Resource Officer program to enhance interaction between law enforcement and students, parents and school staff, assist local school districts with school assessments and to enhance security,” the resolution states.

The board was set to pass another sheriff’s resolution authorizing loan agreements with the state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation for continued use of a patrol boat and two patrol jet skis with a trailer. But the proposed resolution was withdrawn after county Administrative Officer Jon Stead said it was “not needed.” He said the boat contracts with New York state are open-ended, not to be taken away.

“There are no end dates for the contracts,” Stead said.

The board also passed a resolution to spend $4,080 to purchase the following equipment for use in the department using state legislative grant funding: surveillance equipment (fixed-asset) — $1,100; drug analysis containment kit –$1,700; surveillance equipment (non-fixed asset) — $1,100; and containment hood maintenance –$180.