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Sheriff’s office to receive $1.8M from public safety tax

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office will receive $1.8 million for the purchasing of new equipment and hiring of new personnel from a tax first approved nine years ago.

At the meeting last week, county commissioners approved a Public Safety Sales and Use Tax spending plan that was proposed by the sheriff’s office for new equipment, services and employees. The approval was made with stipulations that all purchases are in compliance with state law.

The projected expenses could change in cost, County Comptroller Savannah Rucker said. The sheriff’s purchases can’t exceed the plan without commissioners’ approval.

“As with any purchase, cost of goods and services can rise and fall based on supply and demand,” she said. “Nye County has a purchasing policy that directs the procurement process used for all county purchases, at various levels of expenditures, to ensure the county is seeking out the best price for goods and services.”

The increase to the sales and use tax was proposed by Nye County in 2007 via the Nye County Sales and Use Tax Act to support public safety services. The sales tax rate increase went into effect in April 2014.

Among the top priced items in the plan are $53,006 for SWAT gear; $51,050 for powerhouse software; $105,000 for mobile data terminals, tablets and mounts for the patrol vehicles to provide mobile access to dispatch, records, and other agencies; $242,064 for mobile spillman – a software for the mobile data terminals providing access to mapping interface, mobile arrest forms; $778,033 for tasers and body cameras.

Another $125,000 would cover a contract for the Nye County Detention Center’s medical personnel.

County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said earlier that she wants to bring medical professionals on board to give out medications to inmates and screen them. The proposal is among the biggest changes since Wehrly took over the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in January 2015.

However, District Attorney Angela Bello said she hadn’t had the opportunity to review the Public Safety Sales and Use Tax spending plan, but the use for medical contract might not be allowed.

“The one that I see an issue with potentially is the contract for medical services, that’s not additional safety personnel, it’s not equipment or facilities,” Bello said. “The Public Safety Sales and Use Tax has to be used for existing safety facilities or a new safety facility or personnel.”

Additionally, the plan has $63,377 for hiring two detention technicians, $40,476 for hiring a warrant extradition technician, and $73,184 for hiring a deputy sheriff to patrol Beatty and Amargosa Valley.

Another $40,000 will cover costs incurred in the accreditation process through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement.

The money will not be disbursed directly to the sheriff’s office.

All items will be approved at the various required department levels including the sheriff’s office, administration and finance, which includes budgetary and purchasing approvals.

The administration office and finance office enforce the Nye County purchasing policy, and the finance office will assist in the procurement process of these items.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office didn’t return requests for comment by press time.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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