Budget Cuts Become Reality for North Las Vegas Police and Fire | News
NORTH LAS VEGAS -- Budget cuts became reality for North Las Vegas and its employees Sunday as the city began its new fiscal year.
The cuts included eliminated positions, cut hours at community centers and libraries, and the closure of the North Las Vegas Detention. It was all to fill a $33 million budget shortfall.
Officials also confirmed the North Las Vegas Fire Department had to shut down station 54 located near Camino Al Norte and Ann Road because they simply did not have enough people to staff it.
The closure is not permanent and officials said it could reopen as soon as Monday, dependent on staffing levels.
North Las Vegas Police were also dealing with a new routine Sunday. Inmates housed in the North Las Vegas Detention Center were booked in the Las Vegas Detention Center.
"There has definitely been some steps in place to get that new booking procedure out," said Chrissie Coon of the North Las Vegas Police Department. Those include how inmates are being over. Coon says all the mechanisms are in place for a smooth transition.
However, the North Las Vegas police union has called the arrangement a burden for officers, who now have to drive three more miles to book inmates in a different city.
City Manager Tim Hacker said the cost cutting move will save North Las Vegas millions of dollars.
"With retooling the jail, the first year of savings was significant but the second year of savings actually grows in the years thereafter," explained Hacker.
The closure means about 100 jail employees lost their jobs.
The eliminated positions along with other forced cuts plugged the $33 million dollar budget hole.
"We have lost 32 emergency personnel in the last year and the city has not hired firefighters in over 4 years; so they've made the decision now not to backfill those positions," said Jeff Hurley, President of the North Las Vegas Fire Fighter Union.
Hurley said the cuts will mean fewer engines will be available to respond to calls during the Fourth of July holiday.
"Particularly on the Fourth of July our cuts that we will have to our level of service, and for the citizens is going to be drastic," said Hurley. "Usually, we add one or two pieces fire apparatus, this year we are cutting multiple units back... that's our biggest day of the year."
Hacker said the cuts were deep, but residents of North Las Vegas have nothing to worry about.
"We'll see some continued, as we have in the past, move around some units and apparatuses, but we don't think there's going to be a significant change," said Hacker.
North Las Vegas police said they are monitoring the transition very carefully and will work out any problems that come up.
Hacker said the cuts were part of having to doing business differently in North Las Vegas in order to create a solid financial foundation for the future.