Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | 11:53 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | 8:46 p.m.
The Las Vegas City Council today approved an agreement to start housing jail inmates from North Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Detention Center.
Tim Hacker, city manager for North Las Vegas, said the change will help his city save about $11.5 million this year and about $16 million annually in future years. Financially strapped North Las Vegas is facing a $33 million budget shortfall.
Under the agreement, North Las Vegas will close its jail and move 240 male and 75 female inmates to the Las Vegas Detention Center. It will lease and operate one housing unit at the jail. North Las Vegas will pay Las Vegas about $6.8 million a year.
Hacker said the plan will preserve about 46 jobs, by having North Las Vegas corrections officers shift to the Las Vegas jail.
But about 80 to 85 corrections positions will be eliminated by closing the North Las Vegas jail, the city's police chief, Joseph Chronister, said.
Chronister said that number could drop because some officers are retiring and some might leave for other jobs.
At one time, the North Las Vegas jail housed as many as 1,000 inmates, many of them federal prisoners now held in a federal facility in Pahrump, he said. In more recent years, the jail population has dwindled to about 250 to 270 inmates, Chronister said.
Chronister said there will be no change for those breaking the law. If you commit a crime in North Las Vegas, “you will go to jail,” he said.
North Las Vegas City Council members unanimously passed the matter at its meeting Wednesday.