LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – San Miguel County has declared an emergency over the situation at the county’s detention center. They have a staff shortage and say too many people have been arrested. The facility is usually full, and when the detention center reaches capacity, they rely on other counties for assistance which costs the county thousands of dollars. “Housing detainees at other facilities is a huge financial impact on the county, last month alone, we spent over $80,000 to house overflow detainees at neighboring counties,” said Antonio Padilla, San Miguel County Detention Center Warden.

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Padilla says they are down nine employees, which is huge for their staff size. Current employees have been asked to work extra hours and are stretched thin. “For the most part, staff has been really good about taking extra duties, and responsibilities at the facility,” said Padilla.

The San Miguel County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to declare an emergency at the facility. The board will look into increasing wages and different incentives to recruit people to help with staff shortages. “Creating an awareness to a public at large so they understand as we take measures, whether that’s increasing salaries, because if you in case salaries in the public sector that means the possibilities of taxes being impacted,” said Thomas Clayton, District Attorney Fourth Judicial District.

The resolution requests the legislature consider shifting some financial burden for detention centers from the county to cities like Las Vegas. The county says most of the inmates housed at the detention center are from arrests made by Las Vegas police officers.

The county commission is also exploring new avenues for a long-term solution. “We’re looking at different avenues to potentially expand the detention center in the near future, whether that’s through legislative money, grant opportunities or whatever may become available,” said Jesus Romero, Deputy County Manager.

The county commission will have a special meeting Friday to discuss the next steps of the resolution.