Sparks Prisoners to Hitch Ride With Sheriff's Deputies

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Sparks Police Commander Ken Lightfoot estimates the city could save as much as $31,000 a year if Sparks criminals started hitching a ride on the Washoe County sheriff's extradition van.

At a cost of about $41,000 annually, the Sparks Police Department currently pays for detectives and sometimes patrol officers to travel out-of-state and wrangle in prisoners with Sparks warrants so they can stand trial, Lightfoot said.

He wants to enter a formal agreement to use the Washoe County Sheriff's Office extradition services at a cost of only $10,000 a year.

Lightfoot said the ride shares are done unofficially all the time at no inconvenience to the county, as most out-of-town prisoners are being held at the same facilities anyway.

Since 1995, the Reno Police Department has officially paid the Washoe County Sheriff's Office to bring home its prisoners, said Assistant Police Chief Jim Weston. This arrangement has saved Reno thousands of dollars, he said.

Lightfoot is asking the Sparks City Council to adopt a similar arrangement. The agreement has already been approved by the Washoe County Board of Commissioners.

"This formalizes an informal process," Lightfoot told the Daily Sparks Tribune.