All three Phelps County Commissioners Tuesday morning approved renewing a joint crime prevention contract between the City of Rolla and its police department and Phelps County and its sheriff’s department.

According to the contract, the sheriff’s department has implemented a drug interdiction program resulting in additional funding for law enforcement activities. The department desires to enter into a joint crime prevention operation with the Rolla Police Department (RPD) to expand the program, implemented to control and limit criminal and drug activity in the county, including Rolla.

RPD officers will obtain commissioning so they have the power of arrest outside the Rolla city limits through this program.

The duties of the officers will be to investigate criminal and drug activities committed in Rolla and Phelps County, document the information and then pass intelligence to the agency that has jurisdiction over the crime.

The contract, which runs for the entire year of 2013, calls for the sheriff’s department to pay $50,468 to the City of Rolla as its portion of the costs in limiting criminal activity and illegal drug use associated with this program.

Sheriff Rick Lisenbe said the amount for this year is about a $5,000 increase from last year’s agreement.

“It’s well worth it for this county,” Lisenbe said, noting it has helped in drug roundups in which the sheriff’s department works together with the RPD, as well as other agencies.

A roundup on Dec. 11, 2012, resulted in 23 arrests, and another roundup conducted Oct. 10, 2012, netted 34 arrests.

In other business

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission awarded a bid to Live Wire Communications Inc. in the amount of $45,298.75 for a generator transfer switch to be installed at the county jail.

Two bids were opened Feb. 5 for the switch and while the other bid from Central Security Enterprises (CSE) was for $39,845, the sheriff’s department recommended going with the higher bid.

Lisenbe explained in a letter that his reasoning for choosing Live Wire was “due to the emergency nature of the generator being down and our need to have it repaired as quickly as possible.” He said CSE indicated it could not respond to the sheriff’s department’s needs in the timeline the department requested. Additionally, Live Wire has serviced the jail’s generator in the past and is familiar with its system, “making the down time much less,” Lisenbe wrote.

Also at the meeting, commissioners approved the only bid received for new exercise equipment at the sheriff’s department. The commission awarded the bid from Advanced Exercise Equipment, of Littleton, Colo.

The commission also awarded a bid to The Rolla Daily News to publish the county’s 2012 financial statement on a bid of $1,275. The St. James Press was the only other company to bid and submitted a bid of $1,450 plus an extra $50 to publish 500 copies of the financial statement as inserts.

Additionally, Jodi Waltman was reappointed as the county health officer by a unanimous vote of the commissioners.