For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Feb. 20, 2018. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting.
1. Commissioners approve Five-Year Master Plan and possible phone surcharge increase to fund body-worn and vehicle-mounted cameras for law enforcement. The Board of County Commissioners approved the adoption of the Washoe County Regional 911 Emergency Response Advisory Committee Five-Year Master Plan Update. The Five Year Master Plan was prepared by the Galena Group Inc., as recommended by the 911 Emergency Response Advisory Committee. The Galena Group, Inc. was hired to update the existing Five Year Master Plan Update to include a plan to enhance the existing 911 telephone system for reporting emergencies, and a plan to fund the purchase and maintenance of both body cameras and vehicle cameras for the City of Reno, City of Sparks and Washoe County.
In the 2017 legislative session, Senate Bill 176 (SB 176) passed, requiring uniformed peace officers employed by a law enforcement agency to wear a portable recording device, or body camera. SB 176 also allowed use of the 911 telephone line surcharge to be used for the purchase and maintenance of both wearable and vehicle-mounted recording devices.
SB 176 allows Commissioners to increase fees to cover costs of body cameras up to $1 per local phone landlines and mobile phone lines per month, and up to $10 per trunk line service per month.
Commissioners approved moving forward on fee increases:
- Phone line of local telecommunications provider from 25¢ per month for each line, to 85¢ per month for each line.
- Mobile telephone service from 25¢ per month for each line, to 85¢ per month for each line.
- Trunk telephone line service from $2.50 per month for each line, to $8.50 per month for each line.
“There’s real advantage to this legislation, but always costs associated and we have to find a way to pay for it,” says Chair Berkbigler. “The goal is to protect people every day, both citizens and our public safety personnel, that’s the purpose of this legislation and these cameras.”
Next steps in the process include changes to surcharges to come before the Board of County Commissioners in March, and expected increase to citizens in May, in order to comply with the mandate of SB 176 by July 1.
2. Board of County Commissioners accepts the following donations:
- Donation to the Washoe County Human Services Agency in the amount of $25,132.71 on behalf of Donated Juror Fees to be used for the miscellaneous needs for the children in care at the Kids Kottage emergency shelters and families who are clients of the Human Services Agency.
- Donation to the Washoe County Regional Animal Services in the amount of $8,862 on behalf of generous community members to be used for the humane care and treatment of sick or injured, stray, abandoned or at risk animals.
- Donation to the Regional Public Safety Training Center of two buses valued at $3,000 on behalf of Lisa Allen of Amador Stage Lines to be used as training props to enhance training for public safety agency partners.
- Donation to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Air Squadron Unit in the amount of $100 on behalf of Alliance with the Washoe County Medical Society in memory of the late Richard Swartzendruber to be used for training and meeting needs, equipment and supplies for the Sheriff’s Search & Rescue.
3. Commissioners direct Special District Funds. The Board of County Commissioners have approved special district funds disbursement for Commissioner Lucey in the amount of $10,000 to benefit the following grants:
- Washoe County Community Services Department in the amount of $5,000 to support efforts to reduce speeding on Thomas Creek Road.
- Washoe County Library in the amount of $3,000 to the South Valleys Library’s STEAM programs and services.
- Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District in the amount of $2,000 to sponsor the Kids Fire Camp.
Commissioners also approved special district funds disbursement for Commissioner Herman in the amount of $10,100 to benefit the following grants:
- Board of Regents in the amount of $3,000 to benefit the Washoe County 4-H Livestock Leaders & Horse Leaders.
- The Salvation Army in Reno in the amount of $2,100 to support the Men’s Adult Rehabilitation Program.
- Reno Rodeo Foundation in the amount of $2,000 to support the Washoe County High School Rodeo.
- Veterans Guest House in the amount of $1,000 to support ongoing operations.
- North Valleys High School in the amount of $1,000 to support the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program.
- Spanish Springs High School in the amount of $1,000 to support the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program.
“We greatly appreciate Commissioner Herman and Commissioner Lucey supporting these organizations with their district funds,” says Chair Berkbigler.
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