NHP body cameras OK’d | NevadaAppeal.com

NHP body cameras OK’d

The Board of Examiners on Tuesday approved a $1.25 million contract that will put body cameras on all Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and field units.

The body cameras were mandated by the 2015 Legislature to augment the patrol car video systems already in place.

Advocacy groups say the cameras will expose civil rights and other abuses by troopers and other law enforcement personnel. Law enforcement officials say they believe the cameras will clear their officers of false allegations.

Taser International won the contract. Sgt. Chris Laprairie told the board they should be in operation by this coming summer.

Asked for how the troopers are reacting to the new cameras, he said since car cameras are already operating, they’re used to being videotaped.

“For the most part, they love them,” he said.

The board also approved an $85,818 federal grant to hire a tutor for prosecutors in Nevada’s 15 rural counties. Former Colorado prosecutor Chris Halsor will provide training to local prosecutors to evaluate and prosecute DUI alcohol and drug cases that involve a death.

Assistant Attorney General Wes Duncan told the board Halsor is the perfect contractor for the project since he has had extensive experience in drug DUI prosecutions in Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana several years ago. Duncan said the goal is to prepare rural prosecutors for the impacts recreational marijuana will bring. He said marijuana related accidents and other such problems have increased dramatically in Colorado since pot was legalized.

The contract will last nine months.

The board agreed to let White Pine School District off the hook on the state mandate that each district spend $121 per pupil per school year on books and other educational materials.

School District finance director Paul Johnson said the problem is directly related to the opening of a charter school in White Pine. That school has since attracted 170 students, about 12 percent of the roughly 1,350 enrolled in the district. That left the district $13,278 short of the money needed to meet that state mandate and, by law, if the school district can’t do it, it has to send that much cash back to the state. He said White Pine simply can’t afford that this year.

Johnson said since the district gets more than $7,000 per pupil each year, officials there are still trying to deal with the $1.4 million shortfall in its per pupil budget from the loss of those students.

Citing the hardship to the district, board members voted to waive the textbook requirement this school year.

Johnson said they have adjusted their budget for the next school year to account for the reduction in the number of pupils and there shouldn’t be a problem going forward.