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Sheriff adding second shift

Clark County change designed to cut OT costs, help responses.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office will add a second shift to its investigations unit next month, hoping to reduce overtime costs and to improve response times.

So far this year, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has paid out $569,102.66 in overtime. The bulk of that money is for paying jail guards, but a portion of it is from the numerous call-outs for detectives to investigate a death or a crime scene after their 4 p.m. weekday shift. And while plenty of crime happens during the day, there’s certainly a need for investigators after traditional business hours, said Sheriff Gene Kelly.

“What we’re finding is most of the burglaries that happen, residential burglaries, are during the daytime, and then when people get home in the evening, they discover the burglary, and we’re calling out detectives,” Kelly said.

The sheriff has 10 employees in the investigations unit, including supervisors and the sheriff’s new K-9 officer. By adding a second shift that will work from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., it will offer some overlap with the dayside detectives for cases that need to be passed on and will allow time for evening call-outs, said Maj. Russell Garman, who heads up the unit.

“Sometimes people would get upset with us if we left a card and can’t get in contact with them right away,” Garman said. “And a lot of the people who are committing these crimes don’t get up until noon, so there’s more likelihood of finding then in the evening hours also with a second shift.”

By splitting the unit into two shifts, Kelly said he doesn’t have to hire and pay additional employees while simultaneously freeing up patrol deputies who were spending more time on scenes when a detective wasn’t available.

“(Detectives) can start the investigation, they can process the crime scene, and I believe this is going to give me more units on the streets,” he said.

Overall calls for service are up 4 percent over last year at 46,025 call-outs as of Dec. 17. However, arrests are down 6 percent year-over-year, at 1,712.

Kelly said he hopes that by having detectives working on a later shift, his office can better handle those calls and an early investigation can lead to earlier arrests.

Two detectives and a supervisor will begin working the new shift Jan. 1.

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