After reading a story by Kelsey Givens (PVT 11/30/12), that focused on safety issues at the new Nye County Detention facility, I had an immediate flashback to my own experiences working in the field of corrections. I can fully appreciate the concerns and frustrations expressed by NCSO Detective Boruchowitz and his associates. The job is difficult at best, and demands that physical plant, technical procedures and highly competent staff are functioning in a fully integrated environment.
When the ordinary stresses of working in a confinement facility are compounded by inadequate staffing, lack of training or potentially dangerous structural deficiencies, this creates a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen some of the problems first hand, e.g., responding to emergency conditions such as a fire, serious plumbing problems, inmate behavior or medical emergencies. Murphy’s Law must always be taken into account, and those with the attitude of, “I don’t see any problems, therefore none exist,” are begging trouble.
It disturbs me that (according to the PVT article), Sheriff DeMeo has dismissed the concerns of the Nye County Law Enforcement Association by saying that none of his jail officers have approached him with complaints. Such a response indicates an unwillingness to give the matter the attention it deserves. Even if just one individual voices his or her dissatisfaction over multiple areas of jail operations, the insightful leader will promptly seek clarification and resolution. If complaints are determined to be unfounded, the person(s) making them would be in need of appropriate counseling and or remedial training at the least, or if circumstances warrant, termination of employment.
Questions have been raised regarding policy and procedures at the local confinement facility.
I hope that the county manager, the sheriff and all others with necessary input will quickly begin a top to bottom review of jail operations. Their priority should be to take whatever corrective measures are called for and thus dispel any concerns that may impact public safety as well as detention safety and efficiency.