Police in Yerington get more space and some security | NevadaAppeal.com

Police in Yerington get more space and some security

Teya Vitu

YERINGTON – The Yerington Police Department has lived with makeshift quarters since moving into the new Lyon County City of Yerington Safety Complex in 1976.

How makeshift?

The Justice Court office sits between Police Chief Rod Pellegrini’s office and all his officers. Evidence storage is outside in a truck container.

Four officers share a squadroom 13-feet square filled with six large desks. The lieutenant and sergeant share an office even smaller.

The chief’s secretary has the most spacious quarters but she also has four file cabinets stuffed with case files that should be in a records room that doesn’t exist at the Yerington PD.

The entire department fills just over 700-square-feet – the size of a no-frills one-bedroom house.

“Probably the most important thing is the safety issue,” Pellegrini said. “I don’t know of any law enforcement office where you walk right in on officers.”

Justice Court and the Police Department share the same hallway. Anybody has access to the door leading from the lobby into the police department and nothing stands in the way to the chief’s office, the first door down the hall. Pellegrini’s office is just on the other side of the lobby wall.

“This wall is paper thin,” the chief said. “One time we were talking about a narcotics investigation and somebody from the lobby knocked on the door and said, ‘We can hear everything you’re saying.'”

But modern times are coming to the Yerington Police Department.

Construction has been under way since September to more than double the space for the police.

By the end of February, Pellegrini and his officers should have a locked door between themselves and the public and 1,700 square feet of office and storage space.

“When you come in, there will be a secure door,” Pellegrini said. “Nobody will come in unless an officer comes to the door.”

The police will abandon the present staff room. The chief’s office will become a store room, the secretary’s office a records room.

Right now, the squad room doubles as the interview room. Once the police move into the expansion, officers will have a room dedicated to interviews with witnesses and suspects.

Pellegrini joined the police department in 1982 and has served as chief since 1992. Space has always been a problem, he said.

“We just got to a point where the file cabinets were full and the next place to put things was in the hallway,” Pellegrini said.

Yerington City Manager Roland Adams employed some fiscal savvy to keep the addition’s budget impact below $20,000, even though the full cost will be about $80,000. A U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development grant covers $36,000 and Adams has assigned some public works employees to do grading, preliminary site and base rock work.

“We figure it’s off-season,” Adams said. “During winter we do stuff like crack sealing. We do have winter jobs but they have a lower demand. We can use these guys to do some of the work on the addition.”

Even Police Lt. Bob Stack will join the construction crew once it gets to sheet rocking. On duty or off, Stack is willing to sheet rock.

“I’ve been sheet rocking for 15 years now,” Stack said. “This one’s going to be gravy, pretty easy.”