Getting Results

Al McNeil’s major campaign themes for Lyon County Sheriff in 2014 were reducing violent crime, putting more emphasis on crime prevention and community outreach, and more deputies on the street.

Results:

  • Violent crime in Lyon County is down 46%
  • Reduced administrative costs put more deputies on our streets and helped fix jail staffing problems.
  • With partnerships and grants, there are now have three school resource officers, funding for mental health and substance abuse programs, and additional community outreach programs in place.

More Details:

    • Since 2015 there has been a 3.5-percent increase in overall arrests.
    • Under Sheriff McNeil’s leadership, the LCSO established a:
      • K-9 program with two working dogs.
      • School Resource Officer program with three deputies, one of whom is funded by the school district.
      • Special Investigations Unit (SIU) whose primary focus is felony street crimes and business compliance checks.
    • Refocused the mission of the Investigations Division to major crimes, and changed their staffing from short-term rotations to a unit of career investigators, which has led to the highest crime clearance rate in over a decade.
    • In 2016 with the assistance of grant funding, hired Nevada’s first Behavioral Health Peace Officer in a pilot program to support the Mobile Outreach Safety Team (MOST) and Forensic Assessment Services Triage Team (FASTT), providing mental health-centric services to enhance community safety by bringing the opportunity for recovery to those suffering mental health and substance abuse issues, which has significantly helped reduce recidivism.
    • Since 2016 all deputies receive Crisis Intervention Training to deescalate certain situations before using a deadly force response.
    • According to the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s annual crime reports, we cut our crime rate almost in half from an all-time high and taking Lyon County from the third highest crime rated county to the fifth safest county in the state.[1]
    • A complete financial analysis was conducted within the first 30 days after Sheriff McNeil took office, which resulted in the discontinuation of ‘nice to have’ programs, a significant reduction of prisoner spending costs, a realignment of funding priorities, and a strategic plan for modernizing the agency.
    • Within 120 days after taking office, the jail implemented operational and design changes focusing on prisoner safety and mitigation of liability risks to Lyon County.
    • The Lyon County jail had one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and through a variety of policy changes, the last successful jail suicide occurred on June 30, 2015.

Jail Picture

  • As a result of the original financial analysis the LCSO now completes an extensive annual assessment on its spending trends, equipment life-cycle requirements, and strategic modernization assessment as part of its yearly budget development.
  • The LCSO aggressively goes after state and federal grants to offset new equipment costs and personnel-related expenses. In excess of $300,000 in annual grants are now being obtained as opposed to previous amounts of $50,000.
  • The agency’s volunteer programs annually averaged 22,637 hours of work for the LCSO over the past 3 years.
  • Prisoner work crews were brought back to help clean community roads and filled sandbags during the 2017 Walker River flood.
Prisoner Work Crews
Prisoner Work Crews
  • More fiscally sound cost recovery practices for prisoner medical bills and room & board spending with sentenced prisoners have been implemented, as well as increased federal prisoner housing agreements, to increase county revenues.
  • Sheriff and command staff routinely attends citizen advisory boards, town halls, neighborhood watch, and other community meetings to make themselves available for question and answers.
  • A sex offender task force was reinstituted and aggressively conducts registered sex offender compliance checks to ensure neighborhood and community safety.
  • Decade old agency policies and procedures were updated and revised with industry best-practice standards to reflect a priority of safety in all that we do.
  • Built a public safety coalition to upgrade decade old law and fire radio systems to improve connectivity and enhance communication flow throughout all of Lyon County by the use of capital improvement funding.
Radio Tower
Radio Tower
  • Through grants, began replacing antiquated handheld radios with increased transmission power to reduce “dead areas” in large commercial buildings and in remote mountainous areas throughout Lyon County.
  • Standardized an agency issued Glock 17 (Gen 5) service pistol, replaced a majority of twenty year old patrol rifles, and converted patrol shotguns to fire bean-bags for a less-lethal option.
  • Installed vehicle mobile data terminals (MDTs) using existing Spillman software to improve deputy field capabilities in solving crimes quicker through real-time system information and crime analytics.
  • Implemented a CODE RED alert system that allows the agency to target specific neighborhood with real-time alert messages.
  • Modernized dispatch consoles and telephone systems which no longer had available replacement parts from service centers.
  • Established a relationship with the Nevada 211 information center to provide Lyon County citizens with up-to-date emergency information.
  • On schedule to implement a standardized body camera program in accordance with the newly mandated state law.
  • Helped to create a domestic violence task force with key members of the local justice system and human and health services to address the issues of domestic violence, and bring together services for victims.
  • Published an annual report beginning in 2015 on statistics that shows the agency’s level of performance over the past year and gives recognition of employee highlights.

Als Interview

  • Active on Facebook and Twitter to keep our citizens informed on activities and major incidents. The “Warrant Wednesday” Facebook page solicits public information regarding posted fugitives. To date, thanks to citizen responses, the program has a 51-percent arrest rate.
  • Signed mutual aid agreements with all surrounding Nevada and California Sheriff’s Offices; including two tribal police departments.
  • Signed mutual aid & cost recovery agreements with Nevada State Parks and Bureau of Land Management.
  • Established a regional emergency response team with the Sheriff’s Offices of Mineral and Storey Counties.

[1] As indicated by the 2016 report, only the counties of Mineral, Esmeralda, Lincoln, and White Pine have lower crime rate indexes than Lyon County.