Law enforcement officers talk join operations, body cameras in Carson City

A joint operation between agencies has become a key to providing services and the potential use of body cameras were among the topics covered by two top Carson City law enforcement officers at Tuesday’s Rotary Club.

Sheriff Ken Furlong and Nevada Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Lawson spoke to the club about how the two agencies work together to collaborate in order to better serve the community. One way they accomplish that is by housing both jurisdictions in one facility on Musser Street because in previous years they were running into problems with people not going to the right department for questions and officers needing to send people across town.

“We have combined our services (in one building) because it wasn’t providing a great service to have us separated across town,” said Lawson. “It’s all about service to the community.”

Furlong and Lawson talked about how the joint response between the two agencies has become normal, citing events such as the IHOP and Sand Hill shootings where both the Sheriff’s Office and NHP worked together to create better response times and more resources for incidents.

The two also answered several questions from the Rotarians about how the agencies were structured and manned, including funding for resources. Lawson said though they’re not staffed at full capacity, they have enough resources to make sure both agencies can allocate resources and officers to still be able to operate successfully.

One question the club members had was about the possibility of body cameras.

“I always like to joke that I don’t need body cameras on my guys because if I want to see them do something wrong, I’ll just look, but it is inevitable that it will happen,” Furlong said.

The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have any recording systems right now, and to equip every officer would be nearly $5 million. NHP has some cars equipped with video surveillance, but it uses VHS still. With the latest legislation however, they will be getting nearly $1.3 million to purchase body cameras.

“I am a huge proponent of video,” Lawson said. “I feel like it has exonerated more officers than it has hurt.”


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