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‘You need more’: New sheriff vows to expand coverage in rural Nye towns

BEATTY — There’s a new sheriff in town, and he says he aims to extend law enforcement coverage in Beatty, Amargosa Valley and other rural outposts in the county.

“You are part of Nye County, whether some of you believe it or not,” Sheriff Joe McGill told the Beatty Town Advisory Board. “I want to provide you the same level of service as the rest of the county. You need more.”

McGill said that he was “shocked by a couple of things” at the Beatty sherrif’s office substation and was working on making improvements there. He’s also not happy with a new law that makes more traffic offenses civil rather than criminal matters, saying that it weakens the deterrent for those who commit crimes.

The main difference between an offense being classified as civil or criminal, McGill explained, is “whether I can place you in handcuffs and take you to jail right now.”

He also commented on dispatch being handled from Pahrump.

Since the dispatchers likely have not spent years in Beatty, he said, it is more important for people calling 911 to use addresses and well-known landmarks — not something like “down the street from where Bob used to live” — in order for first-responders to act swiftly in emergencies.

“Help us help you,” McGill said.

The sheriff answered several questions from the board, and Chair Erika Gerling said, “We appreciate your honest answers.”

“I’m not here to BS,” he responded.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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