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North Las Vegas City Council Approves Jail Layoffs | Crime

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North Las Vegas City Council Approves Jail Layoffs
Crime

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - More than 40 workers at the North Las Vegas Detention Center will lose their jobs next week. The North Las Vegas City Council voted Thursday to approve the layoffs, after the facility lost a multi-million dollar federal contract.

The U.S. Marshal's Service announced last month it is moving 300 federal inmates to a new prison near Pahrump. The City of North Las Vegas will lose $9.7 million in revenue as a result of that move. North Las Vegas is already struggling to pay off another $10 million owed this fiscal year.

More than one hundred people attended the city council meeting, and tensions were high. The North Las Vegas Police Officers Association says laying off officers from the detention center would be a recipe for disaster. The union claims criminals would walk the streets, because the city wouldn't have the staff or capacity to house them.

"It says no matter how hard we work, that we are arresting criminals knowing that they will walk out the back door just as quickly as they walk through the front," said NLVPOA President Terry McAllister. 

Councilwoman Anita Wood fired back, saying deep cuts and layoffs could have been prevented if the unions had worked with the city sooner to solve its budget problems. "We reached out and have been reaching out since I took office, asking both Teamsters and POA to please make concessions, to help us get through this," she said. "But, we did not get concessions from either union."

Despite concerns about public safety, North Las Vegas Police leaders say safety won't be compromised because of the cuts. North Las Vegas Police Sgt. Tim Bedwell says the union is exaggerating the threat.

Four of the five North Las Vegas City Council members voted in favor of the layoffs. North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck was the only dissenting vote. The workers' last day is October 15.

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