[Editor's Note: This is the third of a series of articles on the Grant County Commission meeting on March 12, 2024. It begins the county reports.]

By Mary Alice Murphy

The first county report came from Detention Center Administrator Joseph Andazola.

He said the department has five openings, with two officers in training and one pending job offer. "We held interviews on March 7, 2024."

"I submitted the application for accreditation for the Detention Center," Andazola said.

On Feb. 29, 2024, the facility had a population of 79 detainees, with the average daily population for the month of February at 78.

He reported the RISE program had 24 RISE participants for February, with 10 in the facility and 14 in the community.

"We will be promoting Officer Espinosa to Corporal," Andazola said. "And we will participate in SRT (special reaction team) in Dona Ana County."

He noted he had previously mentioned the possibility of acquiring a portable building for use by the RISE program. "I've been in discussion with the state and the county manager on the potential to get one."

The Detention Center is also taking part in a Johns Hopkins pilot program, called MOMCARE, for pregnant women with opiate abuse disorder. "They were looking for jails to serve as a pilot for an NIH-funded (National Institutes of Health) program. Currently the program has three jails on board, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland. I'm happy to announce that the Grant County Detention Center has become the fourth pilot location within the United States to be part of the program. We're looking forward to it becoming part of our program. It will work well with our MAT (medical-assisted therapy) program. Our mental health provider, Charlotte Polanco, will be the person who works on the program with Johns Hopkins."

He said the facility will be teaming up with New Mexico Counties to offer a 40-hour first line supervisor training in Silver City from March 25-29, 2024. Facilities throughout the state will send their new supervisors for the training. "We are also updating our five-year plan for 2024."

District 3 Commissioner Alicia Edwards expressed her appreciation for the getting the full RISE program report. "I appreciate all the different interventions the program is providing from housing referrals and getting people to inpatient care and all the different things the program is offering the participants. And congratulations on the MOMCARE pilot."

District 5 Commissioner Harry Browne concurred, and District 1 Commissioner and Chair Chris Ponce echoed how much they appreciated all that Andazola does.

They skipped over the Emergency Manager report in the absence of the Director Scot Fuller. The report continues prior month programs, including continued training for IPAWS (intergrated public alert and warning system), as well as ensuring EMPG (emergency management performance grant) application and associated reports are submitted and accepted by the DHSEM (department of environmental health and safety emergency management). He continues to collaborate with local, regional, state, federal and private partners and stakeholders. Several future projects were listed, as well as his regular meetings with various partners and stakeholders in the area.

The next article will continue the county reports.

To read the previous articles, please visit https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/83233-grant-county-commission-holds-work-session-031224-part-1 ; and https://www.grantcountybeat.com/news/news-articles/83277-grant-county-commission-holds-work-session-031224-part-2 

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