The cities of both Las Vegas and North Las Vegas want to send more inmates to the Lincoln County Detention Center.
A visit June 21 between county Sheriff Kerry Lee and county commission chair Paul Donohue and Commissioner Nathan Katschke with officials from the City of North Las Vegas and the City of Las Vegas affirmed the current contract for inmates and the desire to send more.
“It was a positive meeting, I thought,” Lee said. “We are continuing to work out some of the remaining small issues of the contract. We have had to give some on a few issues on our part, but we can do that. We don’t have a lot of major issues to deal with.” Many of those had been dealt with in contract negotiations.
Katschke said when he saw the number of officials from both cities there he thought “they were there to beat up on us.” But NLV Mayor John Lee stated clearly, “We all need this to work for us.”
Sixty-five inmates is the minimum that NLV is sending to Lincoln County, and Katschke said he was told NLV has a goal to increase that number to 90 or more. “They want to send their overflow here. They hope it can be a long-term thing.”
The contract calls for paying for a minimum of 65 per day, even if the detention center really has only 10, which is rarely likely to happen.
Sheriff Lee said, “We’re currently taking about 65 inmates from NLV, and I can tell you we are working harder for those than we did for the 100 or so who used to come from the City of Las Vegas. “At 90 inmates being sent here, NLV is going to be saving a substantial amount of money and be able to hire more staff.”
Katschke commended retired deputy Captain Gary Davis, who also attended the meeting, for the work he had done to develop the contract and said, “He is the one they really want to talk to. He had all the answers, and they respect him.”
Lee admitted it has been “a real challenge to make it all work for us, with extra transports and such, and we also need at least two new bailiffs for our staff.”
That will have to be an item on a future county commission agenda.