Hearing set on police evaluation board

A public debate is set for Aug. 19 on a county bill requested by Commissioner Frank Carbone setting up a Nye County Peace Officer Advisory Board.

The only query Tuesday during discussion about setting up the public hearing came from Commissioner Lorinda Wichman about whether the entire 12-member panel, appointed to serve for four years, would hear cases.

“It’s made to break down into panels to evaluation any specific items,” District Lawyer Brian Kunzi explained. All 12 board members won’t evaluation person instances.

Section two.84.050 of the bill states the board will meet in panels of three members to carry out duties. These 3 members will be chosen randomly by the county manager. The 3-member panel may refer a complaint against a peace officer to the sheriff’s office, evaluation an internal investigation of a peace officer and make recommendations regarding disciplinary action advisable by the sheriff’s workplace that could contain growing or decreasing the level of discipline or exonerating the officer. The sheriff’s workplace will make available to a panel of the overview board any personnel files or other material for the evaluation. The officer will have an chance to be heard.

Officers must submit a notice of appeal of the suggestions by the panel inside 30 days to the county manager. Within 15 days right after getting the appeal notice, the county manager will randomly choose 3 members to serve on an appeal panel. The appeal panel will either affirm or modify the suggestions inside 30 days.

Findings and suggestions of the evaluation board panel are public record unless declared confidential by state or federal law. The proceedings nevertheless are closed to the public, according to the bill.

Assessment board members need to be county residents and cannot be employed as a peace officer. They need to complete coaching connected to law enforcement, such as policies and procedures of law enforcement agencies and employment contracts. The board could take away a member for malfeasance in workplace or neglect of duty.

The proposed bill states the review board will not have jurisdiction over matters in which it is alleged a crime was committed. The board shall not abridge the rights of a peace officer granted under collective bargaining, or by a contact with any federal or state statute or regulation. The board members will serve without compensation but will be entitled to travel and subsistence allowances.

In an interview with the , Carbone mentioned he brought the bill forward primarily based on quite a few complaints about the sheriff’s workplace, as evidenced in Internet blogs in the newspaper and comments by citizens. In particular he cited Frank Wilson, who complained under public comment at a number of county commission meetings.

At a March 18 county commission meeting, Wilson charged the sheriff’s department was out of handle and nothing at all is getting carried out about it. He stated there isn’t an ordinance or an agenda item for an oversight board or something else.

“It will nonetheless help us get issues reviewed and recognize if we’re creating good decisions or not,” Carbone stated.

He couldn’t say if the provision mandating panel suggestions be public would open up sheriff’s department issues.

“Something that’s confidential will stay confidential. Those will be legal problems,” Carbone stated.

Sheriff Tony DeMeo told the PVT he wasn’t contacted for his input on the bill, he only identified out about it final week when he saw the county commission agenda. He called the review board “a paper tiger” and stated the sheriff’s department investigates its own.

“They don’t genuinely have any authority,” DeMeo mentioned of the proposed review board. “We’re attempting to discover out the leaks ourselves but when you have other individuals who have access to internal affairs reports that can type of encourage leaking that will be problematic to any investigation. They don’t have any manage over the sheriff. I’m constantly open to citizens’ input when they come to me, I’m much more than pleased to look at it and oblige but this has practically nothing to do with the operation of the Nye County sheriff’s division.”

“We have an internal affairs procedure and a confidentiality aspect of it. I’m getting complaints from the people data is leaking from the sheriff’s office,” the sheriff stated. “The concern is what information they’re going to come in speak to with.”

DeMeo questioned the intelligence of some men and women who comment on the Net blogs.

“In a small town lack of communication is astounding. it’s actually discouraging,” DeMeo stated. “The sheriff is responsible by statute for the public safety of the county so I do not know what they’re going to do.”

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