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Federal detention center strives to continue community partnership

Operators of the Nevada Southern Detention Center hosted the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon last Wednesday, March 23, where more than two dozen business owners and elected officials attended the event.

Warden Charlotte Collins said the federal facility strives to continue its partnership working closely with business entities within the community.

“We have been hosting a joint venture with the Pahrump Chamber of Commerce for at least the last three years that I’ve been here,” she said. “It’s been a great event and it’s one of the openers of starting off the year for our community involvement.

“We only do it the first quarter of the year. This year was especially nice because we have all of our loyal supporters of (Corrections Corporation of America) here.”

Sue Bai, the chamber’s board secretary, expanded on Collins’ assertion.

Bai said since CCA began operating in the Pahrump Valley, the facility has shown a genuine interest participating in various community activities.

“CCA requested to be the host for this luncheon and they have been great community partners since they began operations,” she said. “We’ve got a number of invited dignitaries here today, including the sheriff and undersheriff, at least two county commissioners today. We also had Mr. Darrell and Sheree Stringer, our tax assessor.”

When word first came about that CCA was interested in building a Pahrump detention facility along Mesquite Road roughly six years ago, many community residents strongly objected to the plan.

Collins said she was aware of the criticism even though she was not the facility’s warden at the time.

“There was some blowback when talk of this facility first arose within the community,” she said. “I guess that is normal for any new organization coming into a community. Of course, that was before I arrived here. I will continue to say that the time frame that I have been here in Pahrump as part of this facility, it has been nothing but a very rewarding experience for me. We want to continue to intertwine ourselves into the community and be great partners and neighbors.”

The next Chamber of Commerce community relations luncheon is scheduled for April 13, at Desert View Hospital.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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