Las Vegas Sun

October 19, 2017

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North Las Vegas to cut jobs as feds shift inmates to new facility

More layoffs will be coming to North Las Vegas city employees this week.

U.S. Marshals plan to move 250 inmates from the North Las Vegas Detention Center to a new facility in Pahrump, said North Las Vegas Police spokesman Tim Bedwell. Marshals currently rent the bed space from the North Las Vegas Detention Center, Bedwell said.

“When you lose the beds that the U.S. Marshals Service is paying for … obviously we have to cut staff,” Bedwell said.

The change will result in the loss of 26 corrections officer positions, 27 civilian positions and about five part-time employees, he said. Those employees will be notified of their job status this week, he said.

Ten of those workers had previously taken a voluntary separation package with the city, so those positions aren't included in the layoff numbers.

The new facility in Pahrump – the Nevada Southern Detention Center — will be run by Corrections Corporation of America, which has a contract with the federal government, said Assistant Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Javier Jimenez.

“It increases the number of total beds available,” Jimenez said. “It will meet our current needs, but it will also meet our future needs.”

North Las Vegas' job loss was Pahrump's gain: Jimenez said the new facility created jobs for 250 employees, about half of whom were Nevada residents.

Bedwell said the loss of revenue will be about $9.7 million per calendar year. However, he said, the city will save about $1.68 million by not having to care for the additional inmates.

“That’s fewer people who we have to feed,” Bedwell said. “That’s savings in addition to the personnel cut savings.”

U.S. Marshals will keep 50 of their beds at the North Las Vegas facility, Bedwell said.

The $9.7 million used to go into the city’s general fund for operational services, such as keeping the detention center up and running, Bedwell said.

In June, North Las Vegas cut 188 positions to balance its budget, city spokeswoman Juliet Casey said. Those positions were unrelated to the current cuts at the North Las Vegas Detention Center, she said.

Bedwell said no police officers have been laid off because a hiring freeze was instituted about two years ago.

“When the city had its first round of layoffs, we were already 90 officers down,” Bedwell said. “We had positions we could have filled, but we didn’t.”

Bedwell said the U.S. Marshals plan to move the inmates to the new facility in early October.

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