Yerington to keep its police force |

Yerington to keep its police force

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The Yerington Police Department will not be dissolved in favor of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

The matter was discussed at a City Council meeting Monday, but City Manager Dan Newell said the standing-room-only crowd made it clear they wanted no part of the idea.

Newell said replacing the six-member police force with sheriff’s deputies was never a formal plan, just an idea he felt needed to be looked at before a new chief of police was hired.

Former police chief Rod Pellegrini retired on July 10, and initially the city planned to bring in an interim chief while searching for a permanent replacement.

But Newell thought it would be a worthwhile effort to at least discuss the possibility of using the sheriff’s office for law enforcement services.

“It’s just something to think about, in these times of reduced budgets, people think of things and want to look at them,” he said. “It’s very apparent that the people of Yerington don’t want to do that.”

He said he didn’t see the point of hiring a chief until it was clear the city would not be utilizing the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office for their law enforcement.

Newell said though the council took no vote at Monday’s meeting, the city would re-advertise for a police chief for the next 30 days. The chief’s salary range is from about $40,000 to $68,000, he said.

The Yerington Police Department consists of six sworn officers, including the chief, and a secretary, he said, adding that the city would have to pay the county sheriff to use their deputies, “and it would cost us about what we’re spending anyway.”

Lyon County Sheriff Allen Veil said he didn’t have the staff to pick up the additional call volume in the city and the additional patrol area.

“I don’t want the citizens in Yerington to think I don’t want to provide them with law enforcement,” he said. “It’s just that my guys are spread so thin already, taking on that added responsibility without adequate manpower wouldn’t be responsible.”

Veil said with salaries, benefits, overtime, holiday pay, equipment and training, a rough estimate of the cost would be $115,000 to $120,000 per officer, with five officers being the minimum.

“If they’re looking at costs, we weren’t the cheapest option,” he said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.