Reno, Nev. August 31, 2020. The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
- Washoe County Sheriff’s Office presented quarterly report on welfare and safety of inmates. Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeffery Clark presented the Board of County Commissioners with a Detention Facility Status Report. Chief Deputy Clark spotlighted the increase in the Detention Facility’s mental health population, special watch cells regularly being at capacity and the number of suicides averted. He also discussed several new initiatives and pilot programs in the facility, focusing on the Veteran’s Barracks. Chief Deputy Clark also highlighted steps taken to mitigate COVID-19 within the jail, including the establishment of an isolation/quarantine unit and the testing of inmates before being transferred to general housing.
“I think that this is an incredible cost savings for the Sheriff’s Office to offer these video arraignments, by not having to transport these inmates. It's a very efficient and effective way to deal with those arraignments.” Commissioner Vaughn Hartung said. “The jail has become our largest mental health facility in northern Nevada. We have to do something about that.”
- Commissioners approved amended budgets to incorporate CARES Act grants. The Washoe County District Board of Health accepted a grant of just over $1 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 2020 to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, mitigation, and other COVID-19 response activities. The Commission approved the amended budget with the grant funding incorporated at today’s meeting. In a similar action, the Commission approved an amended budget that incorporated $8.1 million in grant funding to support the District Board of Health’s COVID-19 activities.
- Commissioners approved an agreement that aims to help seniors with emergency housing. An agreement between Washoe County and the Nevada Housing Division of the State of Nevada Department of Business and Industry will provide support for senior citizens and families that are in danger of becoming homeless. Commissioners unanimously approved the agreement and the accompanying $181,341 grant, which will help seniors in need of assistance with utilities, security deposits, rent or a mortgage payment. The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.
Additionally, the board accepted a sub-grant award from the State of Nevada, Division of Child and Family Services, in the amount of $1 million for services related to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).