Public Safety expands duties and budget

Nevada's Department of Public Safety is expanding its responsibilities - and budget - in a number of areas, including absorbing the Office of Homeland Security.

The changes are part of both the governor's proposed budget and legislative subcommittee recommendations.

Taking on Homeland Security will require the addition of five positions including an intelligence analyst.

Four of the positions will be paid 50/50 by the state and federal grant money.

At the same time, analysts warned the department can expect a "dramatic reduction" in federal grant funding for narcotics-control task forces because the federal government is shifting a large percentage of that money to Homeland Security.

The Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means Committee have agreed to add $3.4 million in general fund money to make up those losses in Nevada's drug- control programs.

Lawmakers have tentatively agreed to add 27 new positions to parole and probation and to expand the residential confinement program.

In addition, the money committees agreed to add two positions to increase security for the governor and first lady and to establish a training facility in Las Vegas to provide basic academy training for recruits.

Finally, the department will get six new positions in the state's criminal history repository - four of which will support the sex offender registry program.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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