Friday, 03 February 2017 20:36

News from the DA's Office

September 2017

Elk County Receives PCCD Grant To Assist Law Enforcement With Criminal Investigations         

Elk County recently received a grant in the amount of $15,990.00 through the  Innovative Policing Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).  The funds received by the county were used to acquire Cellebrite technology by Elk County Detective Gregg McManus.  Shawn T. McMahon, Elk County District Attorney, applied for the grant.  Cellebrite is an industry leader in providing law enforcement with the necessary resources to gather digital evidence in criminal investigations.

McMahon indicated that Cellebrite technology is a hardware component with the necessary software that allows law enforcement to extract,  also known as “dumping”, data from smart phones, cell phones and other electronic devices.  McMahon acknowledged that electronic devices have become valuable items of physical evidence to law enforcement in the criminal investigation process as well as the prosecution of individuals engaged in criminal activity, specifically, including but not limited to, individuals engaged in the acquisition and sale of controlled substances.  The Cellebrite technology acquired by the Elk County Detective includes the necessary hardware, software, three years of software updates as well as the necessary training for Detective McManus to become proficient in using the Cellebrite technology.

District Attorney McMahon acknowledged the importance of having Cellebrite technology available locally as an investigative resource for all law enforcement agencies in Elk County as well as expediting the process of “dumping” electronic devices.  Presently, local law enforcement agencies rely upon the Pennsylvania State Police, Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to “dump” electronic devices at facilities outside of Elk County requiring law enforcement to submit electronic devices as evidence by either mail or driving to the facility where the electronic device will be processed.  McMahon foresees that the availability of Cellebrite technology locally shall dramatically improve the turn-around time for processing electronic devices seized in Elk County during criminal investigations.  McMahon indicated,  “often times in criminal investigations time is of the essence and critical, consequently, the availability of Cellebrite technology  locally is an invaluable and necessary investigative tool to law enforcement in today’s age of criminal investigations making law enforcement more effective at doing their job.”

District Attorney McMahon acknowledged the initiative and leadership of Elk County Detective Gregg McManus in proposing this innovative policing project for Elk County which shall benefit and be a valuable resource to all law enforcement agencies throughout Elk County.  In addition, McMahon acknowledged the critical and necessary support that the Elk County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) provided for the grant application submitted by the Office of the Elk County District Attorney to PCCD.   In 2017 the PCCD initiated an innovative policing grant program focused on law enforcement implementing innovative policing projects to improve the service law enforcement provides to the public as well as the collaboration between  law enforcement agencies.

PSP Ridgway Barracks Now A Medication Collection Site

The Pennsylvania State Police Ridgway Barracks is now another site within Elk County for individuals to dispose of unwanted and/or unused medications.  A medication collection box is located within the lobby of the Ridgway state police barracks allowing individuals 24/7 access to dispose of medications, including prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medications, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, medication samples and medications for pets.  Items not accepted include hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, thermometers, needles, aerosol cans, and ointments, lotions or liquids.  The Pennsylvania State Police state-wide medication drop boxes program is sponsored by CVS Pharmacy and administered by the state police.

The PSP Ridgway medication drop box compliments the program started last year in Elk County by Shawn T. McMahon, Elk County District Attorney, and Todd Caltagarone, Elk County Sheriff, which has medication drop boxes located at the Elk County Sheriff’s Office, Ridgway Borough Police Department, Johnsonburg Borough Police Department and City of St. Marys Police Department with the  Elk County Sheriff’s Office administering those drop boxes.  All medications collected at the drop box locations in Elk County are picked up by the National Guard on a regular basis and immediately incinerated at a location outside of Elk County.   

The purpose of the medication drop boxes in Elk County is to make our homes, neighborhoods, communities and county safer and healthier by allowing individuals the opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted and/or unused medications in an environmentally safe manner.    District Attorney McMahon and Sheriff Caltagarone emphasized that individuals should always be mindful of where they are storing their medications within their home so that children and guests do not have access to their medications or become aware of medications located within a home.  Access to medications by a child  may endanger  the health  and safety of a child, access to medications by individuals not prescribed specific medications, particularly opioids, may lead to addiction and knowledge of medications in a home may result in crimes being committed, including burglary.

District Attorney McMahon, Sheriff Caltagarone and Sergeant Daniel encourage the public to actively and regularly participate in using the medication drop boxes throughout Elk County inevitably making their home, community and county a safer and healthier place to live.  All medication drop boxes in Elk County are intended for non-commercial individual use.  In the event that a business, organization, or club would like to conduct a medication collection program at their location please contact the Elk County Sheriff Office at 814-776-5353.  The Pennsylvania State Police Ridgway Barracks is located at 48 Servidea Drive in Ridgway Township.

Johnsonburg Borough Police Department Awarded PCCD Grant

The Johnsonburg Borough Police Department recently received a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) in the amount of $7,420.00 as part of an innovative policing grant program administered by PCCD in 2017 throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The grant was applied for by Shawn T. McMahon, Elk County District Attorney, through the County of Elk.  The Johnsonburg Borough Police Department acquired two (2) sunlight readable/touch screen mobile computer tablets with docking stations and mounting equipment from TKK Electronics which specializes in mobile computing equipment for law enforcement.

The mobile computers have been installed in both Johnsonburg Borough Police Department marked patrol vehicles.  The purposes of the mobile computers is to allow the officers of the Johnsonburg Borough Police Department to more effectively and efficiently do their job of protecting and serving the residence of the Borough of Johnsonburg.  The mobile computers shall allow officers to have immediate real time access while on scene to driving records, criminal histories and other databases, including Elk County Control, as well as communication with other law enforcement agencies within Elk County.  Previously the absence of such technology in patrol vehicles required officers to return to the station to access such information.  Ultimately, access to information by police officers also improves the safety of the officers and citizens of the Borough of Johnsonburg.

District Attorney McMahon acknowledged the leadership that Chief John Clopp demonstrated throughout the grant application process as well as his initiative of improving the vital public service that the Johnsonburg Borough Police Department and its officers provide to the citizens of the Borough of Johnsonburg.  McMahon also acknowledged the critical support that the Elk County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) provided for the grant application which was absolutely necessary for the grant to be submitted and awarded by the PCCD.

The first picture below includes Johnsonburg Borough Manager Mary Polaski, Johnsonburg Borough Police Chief John Clopp, Johnsonburg Borough Mayor Theresa Cherry, and Elk County District Attorney Shawn McMahon.  The second photograph shows Chief Clopp and one of the new mobile computer tablets.


April 20, 2017 was the latest Elk County Anti-Drug meeting and was held at the Weedville Wesleyan Church and broadcast on WDDH The Hound.  Speakers were District Attorney Shawn McMahon, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services prevention supervisor Lisa Cherry, Dickinson Center Inc. Clinical Director Angela Chew, and local attorney Denise Cuneo.

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Elk County Courthouse
250 Main Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853

Elk County Courthouse Annex
300 Center Street
P.O. Box 448
Ridgway, PA 15853