The Albany County Commission on Tuesday approved a grant application to benefit disabled veterans and Armed Forces members and a modified intergovernmental agreement reimbursing deputies for guarding federal prisoners treated in medical facilities.
If approved, funding for the adaptive sports program would come from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Tai Wright, county grants manager, said the program would ideally serve as a “model program” that would eventually expand to the rest of Wyoming.
“The grant funds will help develop and manage and implement adaptive sports activities for disabled veterans by increasing participation, equipment and activities that are available to them, and for the purpose of getting them more involved in their physical and mental health and helping with their well-being,” Wright said.
The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities and the University of Wyoming Veterans Services Center would spearhead the efforts, Wright said; other community partners include the city of Laramie, the Laramie Community Recreation Center and Albany County School District No. 1.
“I’m really, really excited about this,” Albany County Commissioner Heber Richardson said. “It’s going to help veterans, people who need adaptive accommodations and others who are not veterans. This is a big, big deal, and it’s super important.”
The commissioners also approved a modification to an agreement between the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshals Service for housing and guarding federal inmates. Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley said the change stemmed from a recent incident involving a federal inmate.
“An inmate came in and ended up coming in, being booked and taken to the hospital,” O’Malley said. “It required we have two deputies watch that person 24/7 until they were released from the hospital … we didn’t have an agreement on guard services in the event that something like that happened.”
Under the new agreement, deputies would receive $30 an hour for guarding federal prisoners undergoing treatment at a medical facility. O’Malley said he communicated to the Marshal Service his department was willing to keep federal prisoners in the Albany County Detention Center, which creates a revenue stream for the county.
“When we house federal prisoners for the U.S. Marshals, they reimburse us on a $65-a-day amount — that’s standard throughout the state to my knowledge,” O’Malley said. “Some sheriffs won’t accept federal or split sentencing, but for Albany County, it’s a revenue source … we’re going to try to enhance that as much as we possibly can.”