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County jail warden Katy Hileman notes the difficulty of corrections officers’ work and praises their skills

The Adams County Commissioners have proclaimed May 1 – 7, 2022 as Corrections Employee Week.

Warden Katy Hileman used the occasion to talk about the role of corrections officers at the Adams County Adult Correctional Complex (ACACC), thanking the employees for their professionalism, integrity, and perseverance in the face of a difficult and at times challenging work environment.”

Hileman said the officers served as role models and rule enforcers in less-than-ideal settings, where they worked to gain respect and trust to provide a safe and secure environment

Hileman said not every negative event at the jail could be prevented and that there had been some negative incidents, but that the public should not forget the difficulty of the work or the overall success of the staff in presenting problems.

“Staff are not able to prevent all negative occurrences at the jail, regardless of years of experience, well-written policy and procedure, and unwavering dedication to the job,” said Hileman. “The stress, uncertainty, and continuation of a global pandemic has caused an increase in many of the tracked incident areas that corrections professionals focus on. There has been an increase in mental health issues, including suicide attempts.”

Hileman said that in 2021, there were a total of 10,073 “extraordinary occurrence” reports submitted to the PA Dept. of Corrections and a total of 72 of these, or 0.71% were submitted due to incidents at the ACACC.

She said that statewide there were a total of 331 in-custody suicide attempts in county jails across the Commonwealth, with two of those occurring in Adams County. Out of a total of 58 in-custody deaths in the PA County jail system in 2021, zero deaths occurred in Adams County.

Hileman said that although she is a proponent of data, she realizes they don’t tell the whole story. “Data does not capture the correctional officer who got a bad feeling in their gut and went back to double check on an inmate on suicide watch. The data doesn’t tell you that a correctional officer who was assaulted by an inmate had hundreds of positive, nonthreatening interactions with that inmate previously,” she said

“I ask that everyone take a minute to remember the days when things go right. Not the few times that things do not go as planned,” she said.

Hileman said the officers’ jobs were much different than what is typically seen in the media. “Correctional officers are some of the most profession, conscientious, and effective that I’ve had the pleasure of leading,” she said. “I am proud of these fine men and women.” 

We are thrilled to have you hear today,” said Commissioner Randy Phiel to Hileman. “We don’t get around as much as we should to visit you personally. Operating in the environment we’ve had for the past couple years makes it even more difficult.”

Phiel recognized the need for more staff at the jail. “We’re trying like crazy,” he said. “We’re trying different things. We’re trying billboards. We’re trying to get there.”

“It’s a special moment. It’s a challenging job that takes a special individual. We appreciate the hard work you do to allow the correctional facility to function properly,” said Commissioner Jim Martin.

“I could not imagine working with the people you work with. They are not in the best position in their lives,” said Commissioner Mary Qually.  Qually noted that unlike police and fire officers, the public does not get a chance to interact with correctional officers. “It’s a tough job,” he said.

The commissioners also proclaimed May 2022 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

A spokeswoman from a local motorcycle group reminded drivers to “Watch for us; Look twice; save a life.”

Phiel pointed out that the group also does charity work in Adams County, and would present a check to local charities on Saturday.

Other decisions made by the commissioners include the following, from the meeting agenda.

Courts:

Recommendation from Laura Rowland, Deputy Court Administrator, and after review by Solicitor Molly Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners designate Chairman Randy L. Phiel to sign the Billing Authorization Sheet with ASL Services of York, PA for sign language interpreting services. It is further recommended that the Board sign the Addendum to ASL’s Policy and Rate Summary, which incorporates the County’s standard terms and conditions into the Agreement. The Billing Authorization Sheet is effective April 1, 2022. The County will be charged at an hourly rate of $85.00.

Information Technology:

Recommendation from Phil Walter, CIO, in coordination with Court Administrator Don Fennimore and Security Director Mark Masemer, and after review by Solicitor Molly Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners designate Chairman Randy L. Phiel to sign the following Quotes from Link Computer Corporation, of Bellwood, PA. All three Quotes are made pursuant to Co-stars Contract #003-040 and are for one-year terms, commencing on July 31, 2022 and terminating on July 30, 2023. Total cost to the County is

$16,108.00:

  • Quote #1016338 for nine (9) Meraki MR Enterprise Cloud Controller Licenses, which enables the County to operate its Internal Wireless Access Points, and 600 Meraki Systems Manager Enterprise Device Licenses;
  • Quote #1016335 for one (1) Meraki MR Enterprise Cloud Controller License, which will enable the Court to operate its Internal Wireless Access Point in the Jury Assembly Room; and
  • Quote #1016365 for two (2) Meraki Enterprise Licenses and Support, which enables monitoring of Sach’s Covered Bridge with security cameras.
  • Quote # 1016021 with Link Computer Corporation, an authorized reseller of Cisco, Inc. products. The Quote renews three (3) licenses for the Webex video conferencing software including the Commissioners’ Office, Adult Correctional Complex, and the Register & Recorder’s Office.                                                                           Total cost of the 3 licenses is

$924.00 ($308 per license). Pricing is made pursuant to Costars Contract #003-

040. The licenses shall be effective June 23, 2022 for a one (1) year term. It is additionally recommended that the Board approve Cisco’s End User License Agreement, effective concurrently with the licenses.

Tax Services

Recommendation from Daryl Crum, Director, to approve the 2022 Tax Claim Bureau Repository for Unsold Properties purchaser and price recommendations as provided to the Board of Commissioners on March 24, 2022. Upon approval of these seven properties, the Tax Claim Bureau will seek approvals from the other associated taxing bodies prior to their actual transfers. The agreed upon purchase prices will then be multiplied by the current Common Level Ratio to arrive at a new assessed value for each.

Planning Department:

Recommendation from Sherri Clayton-Williams, Director, and after review by Solicitor Molly R. Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners approve the following:

  • Letter Amendment to the Open-End Agreement #521155 (eff. July 1, 2016) with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the PA Department of Transportation. This Amendment extends the termination date of the Agreement from June 30, 2022 to December 31, 2022. All other terms and conditions remain the same. The Amendment is effective on the date last signed by the parties. It is additionally recommended that the Board approve Resolution No. 5 of 2022 verifying that the Board has authority to execute the Amendment and any Work Orders submitted under the Open-End Agreement.
  • Electronic Access Agreement For Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the PA Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”). The Agreement provides the County access to PennDOT’s data on accident frequency histories and site/route-specific accident information in its PA Crash Information Tool (“PCIT”) database, allowing the County to analyze historical safety trends on roadways within the County. This Agreement is effective on the date authorized by PennDOT and shall terminate upon notice by either party. No additional cost to the County.
  • 2020 Emergency Solutions Grant – CV – Recommendation from Harlan Lawson, Economic Development Specialist, and after review by Solicitor Molly R. Mudd, to approve the requested budget modification for the 2020 ESG-CV Grant, Contract #C000074136 to re-allocate a total of $64,202.00 – $31,000.00 from Rapid Rehousing Financial Assistance Services and $33,202.00 from Homelessness Prevention Services to Emergency Shelter Operations & Essential Services. The total ESC-CV grant budget of $340,732.00 will remain unchanged. And for the Board of Commissioners to further adopt Resolution No. 6 of 2022, authorizing the filing of an amended proposal for Emergency Solutions Grant Funds with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development

Department of Emergency Services:

Recommendation from Warren Bladen, Director and after review by Solicitor Molly Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners approve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Radiation Emergency Response Fund Grant Agreement C950003096 between the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and Adams County. This Agreement provides for a grant award of $16,948.00, to be used for equipment and supplies, planning, and miscellaneous items necessary for the development of improved emergency response capabilities in the event of radiological accidents or incidents at Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants. The term of this Agreement is July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. No County match is required.

Adams County Adult Correctional Complex:

Recommendation from Warden Katy Hileman, and after review by Solicitor Molly Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners approve the following:

  • Ratify 2022 Billable Labor Rates and Confirmation of Acceptance with Cornerstone Detention Products of Garner, North Carolina for emergency repair of security doors at the Prison. Hourly rates range from $195.00/hour for a Service Technician to $560.00/hour for an Applications Engineer. Cost to the County to be determined by the amount of repair hours needed to bring the doors back online.
  • Designate Chairman Randy L. Phiel to sign the Terms of Agreement with Professional Systems Engineering, LLC, of Lansdale, PA, for performance of an assessment of the Prison’s internal and external security systems and preparation of a Recommendations Report. The Terms of Agreement go into effect on May 4, 2022. Total cost to the County is $17,300.00.

Recommendation from Solicitor Molly R. Mudd, that the Board of Commissioners approve the following:

  • Ordinance No. 2 of 2022 – An Ordinance providing for Tax Exemption for certain improvements to designated deteriorated areas pursuant to Pennsylvania Acts No. 42 of 1977 and 76 of 1977, defining certain exempt property, providing for an exemption period and establishing a schedule of percentage exemption for that time period. This Ordinance, which applies to the Berlin Junction project, was fully advertised in The Gettysburg Times on Friday, April 22, 2022 and is consistent with Oxford Township and Conewago Valley School District approvals.

Personnel Report:

Court:

  • Magistrate Harvey’s Office – Employment of Daphne Reid, General Clerk, effective May 2, 2022
  • Magistrate Beauchat’s Office – Separation of employment of Tamara Gail Boyd, General Clerk, effective May 5, 2022

Clerk of Courts:

  • Employment of Skyler Stremmel, Deputy Clerk 3-Collections Clerk, effective May 2, 2022, pending successful completion of all pre-employment screenings

Department of Emergency Services:

  • Employment of Noah Green, Telecommunicator, effective April 25, 2022 Unpaid Internship:
  • Children & Youth Services – Madison Kohler, effective May 10, 2022 through May 2023 Public Defender – Charlie Mirsky, effective May 30, 2022 through August 1, 2022

Separation of Employment with permission to post:

  • Clerk of Courts – Sadrac Ramirez Esquivel, Court Information Specialist, is transferring to the Victim Witness Department, effective May 9, 2022; and Heather Wetzel is being promoted from Deputy Clerk 3-Juvenile/New Case Clerk to Court Information Specialist, effective May 9, 2022
  • Tekoa Capps, Casework 2, Children & Youth Services, effective May 31, 2022
  • Alex Staub, Corrections Officer Trainee, effective May 6, 2022
  • Kenya Hardy, Corrections Officer Trainee, effective May 13, 2022

Expenditures:

Approve the following expenditures for the period April 18, 2022 through April 29,

2022:

General Fund Total                              $ 1,682,511.63

General Fund$     595,590.59
Pcard Payment$       13,185.25
Payroll – Week #17$ 1,073,735.79
  Children & Youth Services  $     225,423.98
HazMat Fund$            108.89
Commissary Fund$            329.56
Records Management$         3,155.00
Hotel Tax Fund$       72,329.75
Human Services$         1,632.00
Capital Project-Reserve$       15,740.00
Capital Projects$     371,503.80
911 Fund$     113,571.16
Internal Service Fund$     300,920.25

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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