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Sparks City Council Meeting 10/23/2017

Consent Items: 8.4

Title: Consideration, discussion and possible acceptance of a Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $20,000 from the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Assistance.
Petitioner/Presenter: Police Department/Chief Brian Allen
Recommendation: Accept the Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $20,000
Financial Impact: N/A
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
    
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

The State of Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminial Justice Assistance has offered the Sparks Police Department a Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $20,000.00.  The purpose of the grant funds is to continue to assist with the implementation of the requirements set forth by the Adam Walsh Act.  The funds will benefit the Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit (RSONU) by purchasing access to the OffenderWatch Mobile App., two tablet computers, cellular data plans for the tablets, a desktop digital scanner, and funding personnel overtime necessary to conduct compliance checks of sex offenders registered in Washoe County.



Background:

The Adam Walsh Act will, upon full implementation, will increase the amount of contact between sex offenders and Law Enforcement.  The Act requires that registered sex offenders report to local jurisdictions on a more frequent basis to update their information and show that they are in compliance with the law.  Secondarily, the Act will create a larger number of sex offenders that must be monitored by Law Enforcement on a routine basis.

Washoe County currently has approximately 1,491 acitively registered sex offenders which equates to a case load of 497 offenders to each of the 3 detectives that are assigned to the Regional Sex Offender Notification Unit (RSONU).  As the number of offenders reporting increases, there is a corresponding number of offenders who will be in non-compliance.  The detectives of the RSONU will have to attempt to locate and put into compliance those out-of-compliance offenders.  This will require additional manpower not currently available.  The only way to accomplish this will be to conduct sweep operations using existing personnel working on an overtime basis.

OffenderWatch is a database that RSONU and more than 60% of law enforcement agencies nationwide use as a real-time database for registered sex offenders.  Some of the primary benefits of utilizing OffenderWatch is that it is an internet-based offender management system, community notification, and geographical information system that houses offender records and all associated images and related files.  It is all searchable, mappable, exportable and printable.  This means that data imported and exported from the system is current “real-time” information.  All registered law enforcement agencies that use OffenderWatch can access and search each other’s registered sex offenders in a collaborative format.  To support the input and access of real-time data along with saving time, the purchase of OffenderWatch Mobile along with two tablet computers with cellular data plans is needed.

OffenderWatch Mobile is accessible through an app on any “smart” device with internet capability.  OffenderWatch Mobile provides quicker compliance sweeps, better evidence verification, support for criminal investigators, assistance with abduction response, and is an essential tool for tracking homeless offenders.  The tablet computers provide a larger screen that is still a compact and portable platform that allows RSONU detectives to easily navigate through the search and data-entry capabilities of OffenderWatch Mobile.

The purchase of a desktop digital scanner will be used to upload the hard copies of offender files into OffenderWatch creating a complete electronic file that is searchable by RSONU or any other law enforcement agencies that may come in contact with a registered sex offender from Washoe County.  Uploading offender files into OffenderWatch will also convert RSONU’s offender management to a fully paperless system.



Analysis:

The Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $20,000.00 will be allocated as follows.  $16,900.00 provided by the grant will pay personnel overtime so that RSONU can conduct offender sweep operations to locate out of compliance offenders on a proposed quarterly basis.  $1460.00 provided by the grant will pay for access to OffenderWatch Mobile and the cellular data plan for 2 tablet computers.  $1640.00 provided by the grant will purchase a desktop scanner and two tablet computers.

The award from this grant will help RSONU to achieve it's goal to maintain registration compliance of 90% and if possible increase registration compliance.

**Note**On 10/5/17, an email (attached) was received from OCJA advising that State and Local recipients of the 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) will be announced and authorized to proceed by the end of October.  OCJA then gave permission to grant sub-recipients to begin incurring costs beginning October 1, 2017.**

As of the date of this proposed agenda item submittal, signed award documents from OCJA are still pending.



Alternatives:

The Council can elect to reject the Justice Assitance Grant grant award in the amount of $20,000 and direct the City manager to seek funding elsewhere.



Recommended Motion:

I move to accept the Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $20,000 from the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety.



Attached Files:
     OCJA 17-JAG-29 Award Letter.pdf
     Sparks PD 17-JAG-29 Award Docs and Assurances.pdf
     Email from OCJA -Permission to Incur Costs.pdf

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