are we really safe in johnstown??????????JOHNSTOWN - A city police officer arrested July 8 after an alleged domestic-violence incident in Montgomery County is back on duty after the city lifted his suspension, even though an internal investigation hasn't been completed yet.
Police Chief Mark Gifford said Officer Jason Blowers, 35, was first put on administrative leave by the city after his arrest in Root. Gifford said he suspended Blowers without pay for 30 days.
The suspension would have ended next week, but Gifford said he recently put Blowers - who earns a base salary of $46,375 - back on duty with pay.
The chief said an internal investigation "warranted" Blowers returning to the job. The chief also listened to advice from city labor attorney Elayne G. Gold.
"The chief didn't return him to duty based on me telling him to do that," Gold said Wednesday. "The chief and I had conversations on all kinds of things, and the chief looked at the circumstances and made a decision. We did talk about the pros and cons."
Mayor Sarah Slingerland on Wednesday supported Gifford's actions.
"I'm confident that Chief Gifford is doing the correct thing," the mayor said.
Blowers is part of a 24-person Johnstown Police Department. Gifford said Blowers' case is still being investigated internally.
Blowers was charged with two misdemeanors after a domestic dispute at his residence, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. He was charged with third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeffery Smith said a woman was injured and taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam, where she was treated and released.
Details about the disposition of Blowers' court case couldn't be learned Wednesday. Root Town Court officials couldn't be reached for comment.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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