Public Safety Advisory Committee
General Committee, November 9, 2016
Meeting Minutes

The Public Safety Advisory Committee’s General Committee met on November 9th, 2016, at Erie County Department of Public Safety (ECDOPS) building at 2880 Flower Road. The meeting was called to order at 1:59 PM by the Advisory Committee’s Vice Chair, Richard Stebell.

Member’s In Attendance: Richard Shopene, Donald Dacus, Dale Robinson, Sparky Warner, Brian Mesaros, Jim Carstater, Andrew Jarvi, Kale Asp, John Kelly, John Grappy, Angela Vincent, Richard Stebell, Kathy Fatica, Michael Tesore, Cathy Hornick, Matt Fischer, Guy Santone and Keerinique Valencic.

Opening Comments: None.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the Executive Meeting on 10/12/16 were approved with no corrections.

Director of Public Safety and Subcommittee Reports:

Director of Public Safety- John Grappy

  • Plan to meet with Chair and Vice Chair of this committee to redefine various subcommittees and specific tasks.
  • 2017 Budget was introduced to County Council on 11/02/16.
    • Budget for Public Safety is just over $8 M, which is an increase of $864,000.00 from last year due to the debt service.
    • Cautiously optimistic about the new pay plan for the Telecommunication staff.
      • This plan creates four classifications with pay increases.
      • This plan adds an additional $101,000.00 to the budget.
  • County Council will adopt the budget on 11/15/16. Meeting begins at 5:00 PM.
    • Not necessary to have presence from PSAC or LEPC Committee’s.
    • Next Gen Radio System is currently in the critical design review process.
      • Every agency was provided the number of subscriber units they will be receiving from the county.
        • Order for these units was placed last week.
        • Pricing for these units is locked in until December 2019, if agencies wish to buy additional units.
  • Early deployment of Zetron dispatch consoles and implementation.
    • The plan is to replace current IP dispatch console system (catalyst).
    • By replacing current system we expect more reliability, better audio quality and telecommunication staff will be well trained on console system once transitioned to the new radio system.
  • Finalized land property agreement with County Solicitor to construct eight tower sites.
  • Sending a couple representatives from MCM and Public Safety to Seattle on December 13th for a factory acceptance test.  If signed off then all equipment will be shipped on December 22, 2016.  Implementation by 1Q2017.
  • Law Dispatch Protocol System went live on November 1, 2016. We now have a National-standard protocol system for law, medical and fire.
  • Law Record Management System
    • Statement of work and budgetary estimate was received last week.
    • Currently IT is working to move system software from the old hardware to the new VCAD servers.

Emergency Management Coordinator – Dale Robinson

  • New draft Title 35 was released.  Frustrated that it does not give us any of the tools we need during a disaster.  Not sure if this will be the draft that will be introduced.  If anyone has any comments regarding the draft Title 35, please give them to Dale or Jim Carstater.

Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator – Brian Mesaros

  • Hazard Mitigation Plan is still in progress. We have had one meeting with the municipalities; they are currently identifying projects they would like to see in the next rewrite. Next meeting with the municipalities will be sometime after the first of the year. Tentative goal for the rewrite is third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Rail Safety Plan
    • Intern from Gannon currently looking to see if we missed any key infrastructure.
    • Currently waiting on DEP to sign their agreement and then the order can be placed for the spill trailers to be strategically located throughout Erie County.

Emergency Management Specialist – John Kelly

  • IPAWS application has been signed by the County Executive, and has been sent to FEMA waiting approval. COG application was signed by the state and was also sent to FEMA.
  • Rewrite of the “Storm Ready” manual; final review by Director Grappy.
  • Storm Ready application has been submitted to the National Weather Service. Now we have to visit their office in Cleveland, and then they will come inspect our office.
  • We are now a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador; which means we will be promoting weather safety to the county.

Director of Public Safety – John Grappy

  • Emergency Notification System (Reverse 911)
    • System has been upgraded to a user friendly database.
    • Uses landline phones and the issue is that landline phones are going away.
    • Currently working on promoting the self-registration portal.  The County Executive is holding a press conference here on November 17, 2016.

Fire Services Committee – Chief Guy Santone

  • Trying to get up to speed on new responsibilities. Will be meeting with the other members of the committee in the next week. Should have something for the next meeting.

Law and Legislative Affairs Committee - Jim Carstater

  • Please refer to attached report.
  • SR60 reboot commission meeting on Thursday at 9:30AM, reboot should take around a year to complete.  
  • Cumberland Valley school district is starting a Firefighter I course beginning in 9th grade. They will be monitoring this and encourage to spread throughout the state.

Public Education Committee– Cathy Hornick

  • All council meetings for Erie County neighborhood watch are off until January.
  • Working on junior high classroom for 911 preparations.
  • History of neighborhood watch – started in the 1960’s in New York. Has been in Erie for about 25 years.
  • Community of Caring Food Drive on November 15th, 2016 from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. Items needed are non-perishable foods, items for holiday dinner and personal hygiene items. Call Heidi to let them know if they can pick up items (814) 454-8347.
  • Conversation about media outlets for public education and weather education.

Old Business:  There are five members serving on the advisory committee in which their term expires at the end of this year.  Director Grappy will provide recommendations to the County Executive for appointment for three year terms.

New Buisness: Discussion about weather sirens being transitioned to All-Hazard alert / warning sirens. Emergency Management subcommittee to work on this after the subcommittee has been redefined.

Good of the Order: None.

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 3:06 PM.


**The next “Executive Committee” meeting will be held on Wednesday December 14th, 2016 at 1:00PM 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
Contact Us - Department Listing