Public Safety Advisory Committee
General Membership Meeting, September 14, 2016

The Public Safety Advisory Committee’s Executive Committee met on September 14th, 2016, in Erie County Department of Public Safety (ECDOPS) building at 2880 Flower Road. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm by the Advisory Committee’s Chair, James Rosenbaum.

Member’s In Attendance: James Rosenbaum, Jeffrey Hawryliw, Matt Exley, Kathy Fatica, Kale Asp, Jim Carstater, Joe Walko, Guy Santone, Dale Robinson, Rich Shopene, Mike Tesore, Bill Hagerty, Brenda Cannell, John Grappy, Angela Vincent, Cathy Hornick, Don Dacus and Keerinique Valencic.

Opening Comments:

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the General Committee meeting on 07/13/16 were approved with no corrections.

Director of Public Safety and Subcommittee Reports:

Director of Public Safety – John Grappy

  • New administrative assistant Keerinique Valencic can be reached at 814-451-7940 or
  • Vacancy by Karen Molitor, ECAB has been filled by Brenda Cannell, Edinboro Council; confirmed by County Council.
  • Vacancy (Local Emergency Management) by Bill Heald, West County EMA has been filled by Matt Exley, Millcreek Township; confirmed by County Council.
  • With the retirement of EFD Chief Tony Pohl, Chief Guy Santone is now appointed to this committee as new chief of the department.
  • There are 5 members that their term will expire at the end of this year; Cathy Hornick, Sue Sutto, Brenda Cannell, Matt Exley and Mike Tesore.   At the discretion of the County Executive, committee members will be appointed and confirmed by county council by the end of 2016.
  • The 2017 Public Safety Fund Budget has been presented to the administration on 09/07/16 totaling $8 M (approx. $915,000.00 more than the previous year).
    • The increase is directly related to the debt service from the original bond issue that constructed this building, as well as the Next Gen Radio System.
    • This Budget encompasses 911, Emergency Management and Hazardous Materials Response Team. All 3 divisions have a decrease to the annual budget with the exception of the debt service.
    • County Council will act on the second or third Tuesday in November, at which point the budget will be adopted.
  • With the interim formula for Act 12-2015 Erie county will receive just under $5.1 M in 2017, which is an increase of approx. $300,000.00 from last year.  PEMA in conjunction with the 911 advisory board will develop a permanent formula sometime in 2017, which will go into effect in 2018.
    • 15% of funds are withheld for regional projects, such as the Northern Tier telephony system, regional voice logging recorders and computer aided dispatch systems.
    • John and Kale will be attending the 911 advisory board meeting on 09/22/16 to review the projects. There are currently 58 requests across the entire commonwealth totaling $138 M and there is only $50 M available.
    • New pay matrix is in the works for the Telecommunication staff.  The national turnover rate across the country is 20% and we are over that number already.
      •  Studies have been conducted over the past year and a half. Telecommunicators start at $12.82/hour, and the average across the 12 third class counties in the commonwealth is $15.00/hour.
      • Presentation was made two weeks ago to the AFSCME Union after meeting with the County Executive. We put forth a plan that would create 4 separate classifications.
        • Telecommunicator I – trainee that would stay in this classification for 6 months. They would start at $13.18/hour.
        • Telecommunicator II – Call taker that has gained the skillset to work independently. They would receive a 6% increase.
        • Telecommunicator III – Call taker as well as medical and fire dispatcher. They would receive a 6% increase.
        • Telecommunicator IV – Call taker, medical, fire and police dispatcher. They would receive a 6% increase.
  • The Union has approved this plan as well as the County Executive. We have budgeted appropriately the increase of cost based on this pay plan in the 2017 budget.  It now lies in the hands of County Council.
  • Also proposed to re-establish the per-diem program to help with the turnover issue. This would be for employees that have left but are well experienced and qualified.

Public Safety Advisory Committee Chair - James Rosenbaum

  • Stressed the importance of this issue and states that everyone involved with public safety agrees that we need to find solutions.
  • Motion to support this plan moving forward; all in favor, no objections. Motion carried forward.

Director of Public Safety – John Grappy

  • Next Gen Radio System contract awarded to E.F. Johnson, signed by all parties on 8/16/16.
    • Official project kickoff meeting will be held 9/29/16 @ 10:00AM.
    • MCM Consulting Group has sent out the subscriber units, base stations, mobiles, portables and pagers. Those numbers came from the needs assessment that began in October 2013. We are revisiting these numbers by reaching out to each agency. Surveys have been emailed, once completed we will finalize these numbers.
  • Initial order for subscriber units is placed within 60 days ; however, the same discounted price of 34.6% is valid through December 2019.
  • The system will consist of 17 tower sites; 9 existing,  8 new sites will be constructed.
  • Moving forward with the implementation of the Law Dispatch Protocol System. Certification training scheduled for all telecommunication staff in October. This system will be implemented around 11/01/16.  Upon implementation, Erie County will have 3 nationally recognized dispatch protocol systems.
  • Still working with vendor (Intergraph) to upgrade Law RMS that the City of Erie Police Department still utilizes for their department. The plan is to move forward with this project and will carry forward for completion in 2017.
  • Wills for Heroes Event for military personnel and first responders will be held here on 9/24/16 from 12:00PM to 5:00PM. Event is free and you can register at

Public Safety, Emergency Management – Dale Robinson

  • Still continuing to work on approval of the Rail Safety Plan.
  • Hazard Mitigation Plan update; consulting agency (JH Consulting LLC) was hired and is currently gathering information. Meetings with the municipalities will begin in January to revamp the plan.
  • Working with the Department of Health regarding our ability as a county to do medical counter measures.  Also working with them on the Medical Reserve Core program; this was just given to them from Saint Vincent’s.
  • Submitted our application for StormReady designation.
  • In the process of submitting IPAWS (integrated Public Alert Warning System) application. IPAWS will allow you in integrate all the warning systems.
  • State has cut all funding for CERT Program and we have included $10,000.00 in the 2017 budget to keep program operating.

Law and Legislative Affairs Committee – Jim Carstarter

  • SR60 Reboot
  • SWAB (State Wide Advisory Board) meeting
  • Check out the PEMA building if you have not had a chance to already.
  • Title 35 proposed changes, there are issues that need addressed.
    •  Chairman Rosenbaum suggested the two committees get together to look at the act and proposed changes. Once completed make the recommendations to the entire committee here.

Law Enforcement and Records Committee – Chief Mike Tesore

  • Discussion was had about the Next Gen Radio System. Millcreek PD has concerns as they still have 7.5 years in their current contract. Also concerns with data carrying over to the new system. Further discussion regarding the RMS.

Fire Services Committee – Chief Guy Santone

  • Discussion about county wide requirements to have certifications to lead.

Emergency Medical Services Committee – Bill Haggerty

  • MCI plan still being developed.

Public Education Committee – Cathy Hornick

  • Old Town Porch Fest on 9/18/16
  • Please see attached ’13 Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You’

Communications Committee – Jeff Hawryliw

  • “I Am Responding” policy updates are close to being finished.

Old Buisness: None

New Buisness: None

Good of the Order: Chairman Rosenbaum suggested that law enforcement and fire community attend the Wills for Heroes event.

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 3:08 p.m.

**Next  “Executive Committee” meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Erie County Department of Public Safety, 2880 Flower Road, Erie, PA 16509.**

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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