Ma­hanoy City po­lice chief ex­pands monthly re­port

The Republican Herald - - POLICE / COURT - BY JOHN E. USALIS Staff Writer Con­tact the writer: jusalis@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570628-6023

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.

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