Sheriff’s Message, Week of April 8th
Domestic violence and aggressive behaviors plague our nation. During the past three years there have been ten Lyon County murders, all of them connected to domestic violence. The LCSO is committed to finding strategies aimed at reducing aggressive behaviors that start in our homes and bleeds over into our playgrounds and beyond. If we want to be the most desirable county in the nation to live in, we must put an end to aggression.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recently released a position paper on media violence and aggression, citing that “children and adolescents in the U.S. spend an average of about seven and a half hours a day using various forms of entertainment media, such as television, video games, the Internet, and recorded music. Research suggests that the time they spend interacting with various media surpasses all other activities except sleep.” Many of us have lived in a world without all of the electronic media devices available today, and we respect each other and value life. So what has changed?
Numerous studies are demonstrating an association between exposure with media violence to real-life violence and aggression. A FBI report noted media violence as a risk factor for school shootings and a National Institute of Mental Health report noted media violence to be a significant causal factor in aggression and violence. These reports and others are based on a body of literature that includes scientific papers, studies, and reviews demonstrating the various effects that exposure to media violence can have on children and adolescents, which include increases in aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, bullying, fear, depression, nightmares and sleep disturbances.
This week, we meet with our school superintendent, Wayne Workman to discuss our school resource officer (SRO) program, its successes and how to improve for next year. During the meeting, Wayne made an absolutely brilliant statement, “We need to create a violent media tax to fund additional SROs and behavioral health programs.” There is a critical need for additional SROs and behavioral health treatment options, but funding isn’t there. Since strong evidence exists linking aggressive behavior to media violence, then violent media users should pay for those critically needed services.
State policies should be developed on a violent media tax. As a sitting member on the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, this topic will be brought to the commission, along with a request for support from the Nevada Sheriff & Chief’s Association. In a time when we look for solutions to curb violence, maybe this a step in the right direction.
At the last county commissioners meeting, we were approved pursuant to NRS 202.340 to transfer in excess of 50 crime guns to an authorized FFL dealer, many of which had been sitting in our evidence vaults for years. I ordered that we will enter the gun’s ballistics data into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), prior to transferring the gun out of our custody. This policing best practice ensures no gun seized from a Lyon County crime was involved with any other crime in the nation. Our NIBIN process took about two years to get established, but it is now in place.
And finally, meet our vicious patrol and narcotic K-9, Deputy Borys. We held a formal grant dedication this week with Firehouse Subs in Carson City, who paid $16,467 for Borys, the training, and our patrol vehicle K-9 modifications. Seems to be an extremely intelligent deputy who can distinguish friends from a criminal.
As always, keep the faith!