Mahanoy City police chief expands monthly report
MAHANOY CITY — Police Chief Kenneth Zipovsky spoke about his expanded monthly police report and a new piece of equipment at the May 8 meeting of the Mahanoy City Borough Council.
The new report increases from one to three pages and includes details on the activities of officers for a given month.
The first page of the report is what has been submitted in the past and includes the incidents and complaints received, enforcement activities, including arrests, citations, parking tickets and money received, towed vehicles and total mileage on the three police vehicles. In April, there were 327 incidents and complaints, 19 criminal arrests, $1,115 received for tickets and $25 for police reports.
“The department received 327 calls for service in the month of April, which is a pretty high number compared to previous years,” Zipovsky said. “I went back on our logbooks and the last time we had that many calls for service was in May 2013. So our officers are now much busier than what they we were in the past.”
The second page of the report includes the department highlights for the month.
“Some of the programs we’ve instituted, and one of the first things I talked about, was having foot patrols. In April we had three foot patrols conducted in Mahanoy City,” Zipovsky said. “We’re currently applying for a bulletproof vest grant that will pay for half of the funding for new vests for officers. The part-time officers have to purchase their own vests. The fulltime officers get them as per the contract the first time around.”
Zipovsky said according to the manufacturers recommendation, the vests should be replaced after five years.
“I am trying to get funding so we can help assist in defraying the cost of purchasing those vests for the officers,” he said.
The report also stated that the police department was audited on March 20 by the Pennsylvania State Police regarding the department’s practice and policies regarding protected information (criminal justice and police records). The audit determined that everything was in compliance.
“Anything we have as far as criminal history information, reports where people are victims of crimes and things like that, there are laws that govern how that information has to be kept, who it can be released to, and protection you put on that so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands,” Zipovsky said.
A grant was submitted for a mobile ID fingerprint device and required data service, and the department received conditional approval.
“The device is a little bit larger than a smartphone. It has a fingerprint reader on it,” Zipovsky explained. “The officers will be able to take it on the street, and if they think that someone has a warrant for their arrest, the officer can run their fingerprints through the machine and know within minutes that they’re wanted, rather than take them somewhere else to live scan them. Also, if there is someone that we were not sure of their identity, if they have a prior criminal history, or if they have their fingerprints in the system, such as an alien who is here on a residency visa or something like that, we can identify the individual.”
He said the reader costs about $6,000, which the grant will pay for. Zipovsky said the conditional approval is for completion of paperwork and training, so it will cost the department nothing. The department will receive the device in about six week.
After the meeting, Zipovsky said the police officers now take suspects to the state police barracks at Frackville for fingerprinting.
Zipovsky also reported that Mayor Dennis Wiessner participated in two ridealongs with him.
The report’s third page shows the activities of the officers that involved citations for parking, traffic and non-traffic violations and criminal arrests.
“We’re trying to let the public know what we’re doing, and obviously if there are any questions, anybody is free to come see me,” Zipovsky said.