Reno, Nevada, November 10, 2020. The following are highlights from today’s Washoe County Board of County Commissioners meeting:
1. Commissioners agreed to terminate an agreement for dispatch and forensic services betweenCity of Reno Police Department and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office: An agreement reached in 1990 allowed for an exchange of services for dispatch and forensic services. The City of Reno handled emergency dispatch for Washoe County, and the county conducted Crime Lab services for the City of Reno.
Both the city and county have expanded their needs in serving the community, and the agreement is no longer equitable, according to a recent analysis conducted by an independent consultant. With the termination of the agreement, the county will move forward to expand its own dispatch services, and Reno would take on the financial burden of its own Crime Lab use, currently valued at nearly $2 million annually. The county’s FY21 adopted budget includes the cost of six call-taker positions, intended to be offset by the City of Reno paying for services.
“The difficulties for accounting for these types of services is difficult. For all of us who own businesses, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our taxpayers to fulfill their needs,” Commission Chair Bob Lucey said. “I think this is the right thing to do. It’s purely business in the smartest and most eloquent way to right the wrongs and get things moving in the right direction.”
2. Commissioners approved expenses for digitizing county records and public documents: The Washoe County Recorder’s Office is responsible for maintaining and preserving county records. In 1999, the office began preserving these records digitally and is working to digitizing records prior to that. This specific project, approved today, will digitize all marriage certificates from 1965 to 1997 and all land records from 1862 to 1935.
Washoe County joins Nye County’s contract with U.S. Imaging to complete this project, which was continued from FY20 due to COVID. The cost to Washoe County is estimated at $500,000, utilizing the Recorder’s Technology Fund. The result will be preservation of these important documents, higher quality of the recorded images, and easier search of records by the public.
3. Commissioners recognized the public service of Judge Peter Sferrazza upon his retirement: The Honorable Peter Sferrazza served as City of Reno Mayor from 1981 through 1995 and a Washoe County Commissioner from 1998 through 2007. He was deeply entrenched in the community during his nearly 50-year career as an attorney, jurist and elected official. He worked as a tribal judge with the tribal courts of Washoe County, Yerington-Paiute, Ely Shoshone, Fallon-Paiute, Pyramid Lake, and Walker River, as well as the Intertribal Court of Appeals. He most recently served on the Reno Justice Court, from which he now retires.
"Mr. Mayor, Mr. Commissioner, and Mr. Honorable Judge, I am so grateful for you, your patriotism, public service, and unwavering commitment to social justice,” Commissioner Kitty Jung said. “I also want to thank your family. I know as a public servant that we don’t do this alone. Your daughters, your sons, your wonderful wife: I thank all of you because I know this is a whole family commitment.”
4. Commissioners appointed Justin Roper as Chief Alternative Sentencing Officer: Justin Roper has been appointed as Chief Alternative Sentencing Officer, a role he has filled in an acting capacity since the retirement of former chief, Joseph Ingraham, in August. After a competitive recruitment, Roper was selected as the most qualified candidate and appointed to the permanent position.
Roper filled numerous roles including marshal, sergeant, and chief during his 17 years at the City of Reno Municipal Court and joined the Washoe County Department of Alternative Sentencing in 2018. The department’s mission is to increase safety in the community by reducing recidivism through an environment that includes accountability for offenses and opportunities to gain life skills.
5. Commissioners approved appointments to the Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board: The board accepted the resignation of Danada Rausch (District 4) from the Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board and approved the appointment of Deborah Whitehouse (District 4) and Barbara Korosa (District 1). The District 5 member remains vacant. Board members serve a four-year term and support senior services by developing long- and short-term department goals, reviewing services and budget, and providing input on community trends and needs.