CARSON CITY — In a “win-win” situation for this community and its local hospital, a partnership for dedicated law enforcement will continue for another year.
Members of the Carson City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday — with Councilman Kurt Keiffer absent — to renew a one-year contract for dedicated police coverage by the Carson City Police Department for Sparrow Carson Hospital.
“It’s been three years and it’s worked very well for us, and I know the hospital is pleased with it,” Mayor Bruce Tasker said. “I think it’s worked well for both groups.”
The partnership began in June 2012. After three years, Carson President and CEO Matt Thompson said the hospital has been appreciative of the police coverage and is looking forward to continued dedicated law enforcement under the direction of Police Chief Dave Ellis, who was hired last autumn.
“On behalf of the hospital, we knew this was going to be big shoes for the chief to fill,” Thompson said. “From our perspective, he’s been working out awesome. He’s very personable and our staff feels very confident when his officers are in the building.”
Thompson said since officers have been on duty at the hospital, the amount of emergency incidents in the evening hours has decreased, which he attributed to the dedicated coverage.
“Knock on wood, but we’ve had a lot less incidents in our emergency department in the middle of the night,” he said. “We are in full support and we want to continue this as long as we can. From our persecutive, we’re very appreciative and we want to keep this going.”
According to Tasker, the hospital will pay $21 per hour, 35 hours per week, for an officer to be on duty at the hospital from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.
Ellis said his department will continue to provide coverage to the hospital, noting that the partnership has worked well for the police department.
“Since coming on board here we’ve had to jump through a couple of hoops with a lack of personnel covering some hours, but I think we’re up to speed now,” he said. “That seems to be the only glitch as far as covering the hours, but we’ve been very happy with the hospital and their support.”
Councilman Tom McCrackin said he saw no reason not to continue going forward with the mutually beneficial partnership.
“I think it’s a win-win situation,” he said.
Thompson was also at Tuesday’s council meeting to present a donation of $2,000 on behalf of the Carson Foundation to the police department. Ellis previously requested a grant for new police uniforms from the foundation, and Thompson said the foundation board took no issue with the request.
“(The foundation) had very little discussion,” he said. “One, they recognized that this fits the health and safety mission of the Carson Foundation, and two, and most importantly, they recognized that we’ve been in a long-term relationship with the city and that these police officers are actually with us.”