CCSO body cams part of city audit

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A regular compliance audit is underway in Carson City government, including a recent assessment of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office’s body camera program.
On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $110,000 contract for internal auditor Eide Bailly LLP to examine the city’s utility billing and grants management program. A proposal to audit the sheriff’s body camera program led to a smaller risk assessment that found any deeper audit should wait until the program is fully developed.
The word “audit” itself might sound scary, but the audit work program does not necessarily indicate wrongdoing. An internal process, it’s the way the city checks department practices and policies for compliance.
Chief Financial Officer Sheri Russell said the internal auditor ensures “we are in compliance with our own policies.”
This means evaluating internal controls, checking for efficiency, and comparing procedures against state law and other regulations.
“Recommendations/findings are internal tweaks that staff need to make to ensure that what city staff is actually doing matches those policies/procedures,” Russell said by email.
The internal auditor reports directly to the Carson City Audit Committee, and that committee sets auditing goals for the fiscal year.
On Tuesday, Sheriff Ken Furlong told the Appeal by phone that the risk assessment of the camera program came “at a great point in time.” He said compliance is important “as we mature the program.”
The body camera program was started in 2018 and currently costs around $250,000 a year, Furlong said. He said this year, the office started connecting body cameras to car cameras.
“Now we have cars, and we want to make sure all policies and practices are in place,” he said.
During the risk assessment, the auditor did find the sheriff’s office’s body camera policies and procedures were “in-line with the Nevada Revised Statutes.”
“The auditor did provide some recommendations but did not feel it was useful to dive deeper into an audit at this time,” reads a staff report compiled by Russell.
Furlong remains positive about the camera program.
“I consider it to be an advantage to maintain public trust,” he said.
He said the footage helps when assessing complaints against his office.
“There have been numerous incidents resolved just because of body cam footage,” he said, adding car footage will provide more transparency.
The audit program will also focus on the city’s utility billing. According to the proposed budget for the audit, the internal auditor will assess “the current state of operational efficiency and effectiveness with the new utility billing program related to following activities: billing, pricing structure, refunds, discounts, adjustments, and customer outreach.”
Concerning the city’s grants program, the auditor will examine the city’s “financial control framework” for CARES Act funding, FEMA funding, and other funding associated with COVID-19 relief.
“There are a lot of federal regulations to adhere to,” Russell told supervisors Thursday.
Supervisors also voted unanimously to close the preceding fiscal year’s internal audit, which focused on social media, IT vulnerability, and workflow in the community development department, among other things.
For information about the audit committee, visit
In other action, supervisors:
• Approved roughly $2.3 million for various redevelopment projects. They took this action first as the redevelopment authority and then after reconvening as the board. The vote was 4-1 both times with Supervisor Maurice White voting no. He said he opposed the facade improvement program in the past and wanted his objection noted.
Proposed expenditures are included in the redevelopment budget and capital improvement program for fiscal year 2023. They include $25,000 for Nevada Day, $309,000 for the sales tax reimbursement incentive program for the Nissan dealership, Southgate Mall and Carson Mall, $200,000 for sidewalk and ADA improvements, and $100,000 for the JAC downtown transit center, among several other projects.
The approval of expenditures was passed by a two-thirds majority, which is required by state law.
• Unanimously approved a grant application for the city’s information technology department, which is seeking new software to enhance the city’s cybersecurity.
The application for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant will be submitted through the Nevada Division of Emergency Management and will not exceed $350,000. There is a 10 percent local match required.
According to Carson City Chief Information Officer Frank Abella, the new software will initially cost $150,000 with annual maintenance costs of $79,000. The grant would cover the initial cost and two years of maintenance.


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