County, city start some discussion

Initial cooperation on both sides is encouraging.

Since late in 2016, there have been issues between the city and county on use of the Chase County Jail. As officials of both government entities await a Nebraska Supreme Court opinion on who is to pay for some medical costs related to inmates, city and county officials here are finally getting together to discuss some things.
    At county commissioner and city council meetings this week and last, officials began to look at a possible jail contract that may begin to address housing of inmates and each government entity’s responsibilities.
    The jail contract being looked at  here mirrors the one Chase County has with Lincoln County. It lays out responsibilities, as well as the county’s guidelines on screening and accepting prisoners.
    What isn’t helpful, though, as these discussions continue, is the reference, at times, that prisoners arrested by city police are “Imperial’s prisoners” even after they’re housed in the county jail.
    Once a prisoner is booked into jail, he or she should be considered a prisoner in the county jail, no matter where in the county, or by whom, the person was arrested.
    It should not make a difference who made the arrest once the person is booked into jail. Yet, the sheriff’s department presented a list of jail bookings at a January commissioners’ meeting, suggesting that since the number of jailings after police arrests was nearly equal to the jailings after sheriff’s department’s arrests that maybe the city should be contributing money to help with county costs.
    As of now, the county is NOT planning to charge the city for a jail contract, according to discussion at Monday’s council meeting.

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