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Officials sign document to combat internet crimes

Food assistance program gets local participant in Calvary Bible Church

LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County Commissioners made a move Tuesday to help keep Mifflin County youth safe from online sexual predators.

The commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding between the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and the Mifflin County District Attorney’s Office for a combined law enforcement effort to combat Internet crimes against children.

This memorandum has been developed and implemented with other counties in the commonwealth.

According to district attorney Chris Torquato, Delaware County has taken the lead in investigating crimes that occur over the internet that involve children. The action includes sexual predators attempting to solicit children and the distribution of child pornography.

Delaware County’s Internet Crime Against Children task force program can monitor this type of behavior online. In appropriate cases, the task force will refer information to counties where individuals attempt to participate in such online criminal activities.

Once the task force refers the information to local law enforcement, the police can access that information and then act to further the investigation.

According to Torquato, Mifflin County Regional Police will have one of its personnel assigned as the ICAP officer for the county. The proposed agreement would allow the officer to have county-wide jurisdiction to investigate these types of crimes.

“Unfortunately locally, through my ten years as district attorney, we have seen cases that involve this type of behavior, and we’ve prosecuted those kinds of cases,” Torquato said, “So this isn’t something that we’re immune from. It’s something that is here, and this will give us a better tool to hopefully combat that.”

The commissioners also signed off on the Emergency Food Assistance Program agreement with Calvary Bible.

Mifflin-Juniata Human Resources director Allison Fisher expressed her appreciation to Calvary Bible for taking on the program this year. Fisher said without the church’s commitment, Mifflin County would not have the program this year.

According to Fisher, any agencies with a 501(c)(3) status participating in food security issues such as a food distribution operation are encouraged to contact Fisher about participating in the program next year.

Fisher said if Mifflin County doesn’t have agencies willing to participate with Human Services to distribute the food, it will be a lost service to the community.

The Mifflin County Commissioners also took the following action:

¯Approved Mifflin County Re-entry Coordination Sub-Grantee Contracts for the period of Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022: Mifflin-Juniata Human Resources – $23,994.00, Curtis Wert – $25,000.00, Tim Geiger – $5,941.00

¯Awarded notification for the Mifflin County Co-Responders Grant for the period Oct.1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022 – $79,103.00

¯Approved resolution No.18 for 2021 authorizing funds to be used as a match and interim financing for the Mifflin County Annex Building.

¯Approved the agreement of sale with Diakon Luthern Social Ministries for approximately 27 acres of land on Green Avenue Extended – $100,000.00

¯Approved arbitration award for the Mifflin County Independent Corrections Officer (ICOP) Union, Lodge 10.

¯Approved work statement No. 6 with Delta Development Group to extend the agreement for an additional 12 months, beginning July 6, 2021, and ending July 6, 2022, for a fee of $3,000.00 per month.

¯Approved cooperation agreement between Mifflin, Juniata, and Huntingdon Board of Commissioners and the Juniata Valley Behavioral and Development Services for 2020-2021 Human Services Block Grant Program reimbursement.

¯Approved contract renewal with Geisinger Health Plan for employee group health coverage for the period of Jan. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022.

¯Approved quote from Tyler Technologies for a touchscreen time clock reader – $2,981.00.

¯Approved the retirement of Robert Ferguson from public defender effective Oct. 31, 2021.

¯Approved the promotion of Nicole Patkalitsky of Children and Youth Director effective Oct. 25, 2021.

¯Approved the hiring of Philip Callahan for part-time deputy sheriff effective Oct. 25, 2021.

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