For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. March 12, 2019. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners approved in-car patrol cameras for Sheriff’s Office. Commissioners authorized the Sheriff’s Office to purchase 60 new in-car cameras for patrol vehicles as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the Sheriff’s Office body-worn camera program.
Patrol vehicle dash cameras have been in use at the Sheriff’s Office since the late 1990s. The purchase of new equipment is required to update an aging system as well as allowing the Office to take advantage of new technologies that enable car cameras to integrate more efficiently with the deputies’ body-worn cameras which the Sheriff’s Office started using in June of 2018, three weeks ahead of the state’s required start date.
“This is a direct investment in public safety and an important step in our continuing efforts to effectively increase transparency through the use of video technology,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said. “In-car cameras are an important supplement to the body-worn cameras because they start to gather evidence from the moment a deputy begins to respond to an incident.”
2. Commissioners approved grant funds for Sheriff’s Office forensic programs, including drug screening. Commissioners approved a pass through grant award of $177,189, with an $11,285 county match requirement, from the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice 2018 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Project, to support projects within the Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division.
Part of the grant will go towards funding continued education and training for new criminalists in advanced areas of the forensic sciences such as latent print processing.
This grant will also purchase six new TruNarc™ drug screening instruments. These instruments are laser-based screening devices that can greatly enhance the drug testing process by providing accurate presumptive results for controlled, prescription, and illegal drugs.
TruNarc™ instruments will be provided to the Reno and Sparks Police Department, as well as the Sheriff’s Office patrol division, for use in the field as needed. The instruments increase efficiencies through a more reliable preliminary test that may be able to save the need, and cost, of more extensive drug testing. They also increase officer safety because they can screen through plastic, allowing officers to test without having to expose themselves to potentially harmful substances such as fentanyl, and they will reduce the amount of chemical consumables currently used by these agencies with chemical-base presumptive drug test kits.
3. Commissioners accept incentive funds for District Attorney’s Office. Commissioners approved to accept additional incentive funds from the State of Nevada, Child Support Enforcement Program in the amount of $397,099.84. Upon the calculation of performance in four areas: paternity establishments, cases with orders, collections on current support, and collections on arrears, the District Attorney’s Office received additional funds for the Child Support Enforcement Program.