Two more deputies will be hired for northern Nye County, after county commission approval Tuesday.
The deputies will be hired out of the proceeds of the half-cent sales tax increase that took effect April 1, of which the sheriff’s department gets half. The sales tax increase generates $100,000 monthly for the sheriff’s office.
The cost of each deputy was pegged at $72,084 annually, with $39,084 going to salaries and $33,000 to benefits. Equipment adds another $3,875.
One deputy will be assigned to Tonopah, the other will be a rover assigned to cover Big Smoky Valley two-thirds of the time, Gabbs 13 percent of the time and 20 percent of the time in other outlying parts of northern Nye County. The hires are part of the sheriff’s sales tax spending plan. Funding is allocated based on a percentage of county population. Tonopah represents 6.5 percent of the county population, the other areas collectively comprise 5.75 percent.
Assistant Sheriff Rick Marshall said $2,500 is allocated for any overages that may occur, like overtime or shift differential pay. County Manager Pam Webster said the budget will be less since the county is more than one quarter into the current fiscal year and the fiscal year may be half over by the time the additional deputies are recruited and trained. Marshall said Nye County can fund $7,700 of the cost from the $25,000 Corrections Corporation of America pays annually in their development agreement.
Sheriff Tony DeMeo said the roving deputy would be available to assist the one deputy in remote Gabbs.
“What we’re looking at is servicing the public but in that respect also having additional manpower in case that is needed for those rural areas,” DeMeo said. For example, he said there’s only one deputy each in Amargosa Valley, Beatty and Tonopah.
“The decisions they make are very good decisions. It’d be nice to have someone else out there for additional manpower,” the sheriff said of his rural deputies. “This will definitely give us the ability to patrol areas that don’t see patrol.”
When Commissioner Donna Cox asked about deputizing volunteers in those areas for extra help, Commissioner Lorinda Wichman remarked, “they have backup, it’s the citizens. If those citizens go through the process of being a volunteer then they’re restricted. Right now they’re not.”
Wichman previously remarked animal control in the remote rural areas was the 25 cent price of a bullet.
DeMeo said members of the public assisted the deputy in Gabbs during a recent incident. Just last weekend, the public helped with an incident in front of the Ian Deutch Justice Facility in Pahrump, he said.