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Police department reaccredited

September 18, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The city Police Department has been reaccredited for five more years by the state, the Common Council heard Monday at City Hall.

In her department liaison report, 1st Ward Councilwoman Cindy Lakata noted the state Department of Criminal Justice Services on Thursday approved reaccreditation. The council and Mayor Sarah Slingerland gave police Chief Mark Gifford an ovation for a job well done.

"We're very appreciative," the mayor said.

Earlier this summer, the department underwent a state accreditation review.

The state's police accreditation program began in 1989 and involves 133 standards covering things such as fiscal management, training for supervisors, how high-speed pursuits and roadblocks are handled, patrol car standards, evidence handling, the hiring process and internal investigations. The program has two direct benefits - improving the Police Department and possibly lowering city insurance rates for the department.

"It also says our community is as safe as we can possibly make it," the mayor said.

She said she thinks other departments in city government equally operate by such "high standards."

Calls for service

Continuing her public safety report, Lakata said the police department in August had 725 calls for services. The department also made 23 arrests during the month, issued 24 parking tickets and 47 traffic tickets, and investigated 37 accidents.

Lakata reported the city Fire Department conducted in-service training on aerial device placement and operations. The department's Codes Division also conducted in-service training on the requirements for the installation and operation of solid fuel heating devices.

In August, the fire department responded to 54 calls for service. They included five structure fires, five motor vehicle accidents, two helicopter Life Net landing zone calls, 10 hazardous condition calls, six medical assistance, two industrial accidents, one extrication and six carbon dioxide incidents,

Lakata said the city also issued 52 building permits last month, which represented $235,000 in potential construction and renovation work in the city.



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