I recently received a comment regarding the reputation of recently retired lieutenant Gawain Guedry. Guedry retired after the report that he wrote about the Air Support Unit safety problems was suppressed by Metro. Guedry was described as, “far and away the best Sgt I had… Our squad did more quality police work in Union area than I saw anywhere else in my time there. I never saw another supervisor work with his officers on career development the same way he did. There is no question in my mind, that under his leadership, we made Union area a better place. As soon as an opening came up in the station’s PSU squad, he got it, and it was well deserved. The place does not cast talent away lightly, they heave it away with great force.” Anyone that cares about the LVMPD should READ THAT LAST SENTENCE AGAIN! Tremendous damage has been done by the Gillespie regime over the last 8 years — and this includes much more than just people that he has fired. He has chased talent away with a vengeance! I’ve recently thought about my career in sound bites. Yes, I can almost hear every word as clearly as the day they were said. On July 18, 1983, I received a letter from one of my professors at Michigan State University. He was quite percipient. He wrote, “If you have battles, select carefully — very carefully — the battles you choose to fight for not all of them are worth a fight and all that goes with it. Still, you should not give up your basic integrity and I hope it never comes to that.” Little did I know then that 27 years later I would learn exactly what he was referring to — Captain Charles Hank issued me a Contact Report about the ‘tone’ of my emails. I was complaining to my lieutenant about Hank’s discriminatory treatment but the color of my skin was more important than the content of my character. My ‘second’ career included taking some stands and getting into some trouble with the regime. I defended an officer who abruptly quit during field training. He had already completed a 20-year career in the Air Force. He was a grown man and he was mocked by disrespectful ‘punks’ running the academy (and I don’t mean our academy classmates). He was later being treated unfairly in field training. Since I had been in charge of all of the field training before leaving the LVMPD in 1996, and since we had been encouraged to share concerns… I did. I left a voicemail with Lt. Dennis Larson and suggested that he do an ‘exit interview’ with my friend. Instead of taking this opportunity to hear him say what he had experienced they just jumped all over me for conveying the message myself. I received a Contact Report from Sgt. Steve Stubbs. They wrote, “Your message contained derogatory opinions of the academy and Field Training Programs. Even though Lt. Larsen had made mention in his class that he could be contacted directly should anyone feel they needed to do so, he felt you crossed the line of what a new officer in training should be advocating. He described your message as a diatribe of what is wrong with our Department and its employees.” I was advised that I was to keep my opinion on the quality of training in both the Academy and Field Training confined to the opportunities in place, specifically the Field Training Officer Critique form. I was also given the option of going through Sgt. Stubbs and the chain of command. They also wrote, “It is obvious that you feel some sense of responsibility for the welfare of your peers. This may be because you have the advantage of past experience which many of them do not. However, you must restrict your input to that of a MENTOR and not as a representative. Offering encouragement, forming a study group or just being a good listener, should be the extent of your involvement until your graduation from the FTEP. I received that little ‘gem’ in 2004. In a sense, it was the beginning of the end of my career. Maybe they should have just non-confirmed me right then! I was pleased that PPA President Dave Kallas had attended a meeting with Captain Salinas and my supervisors. I had not invited him but Lt. Bob Sebby (now deceased) had given Kallas a ‘heads-up’ which I appreciated. Kallas pulled me aside during a break in the meeting and told me, “Things have changed” (Bill Young had become the sheriff) and, “They will fire you.” I learned in my second career with the LVMPD that FRAUD and DECEPTION would be the watchwords — not I CARE. While still in field training, I wanted to start teaching again at the College of Southern Nevada. Captain Mark Maston denied my outside employment request because I was still in training. I had been a lieutenant with Metro for four years and I don’t even know if Maston was a rookie sergeant when I moved on to follow a career goal and become a small town police chief. When I returned, he had the power and he used it. The good news was that I asked for permission to go up the chain of command. Deputy Chief Rod Jett was gracious enough to approve my request to teach one night class. I should have been seeing the writing on the wall. I wasn’t all that ‘welcome’ back at Metro — especially because I knew where we needed improvement and I would not sit back and watch the continuing decline. I was allowed to take the sergeant’s exam after probation… I didn’t have to wait the normal six years because I had already achieved over 13 years of experience with the LVMPD (including our as a sergeant and four as a lieutenant). I made sergeant and was transferred to DTAC. Unfortunately, just prior to being promoted to sergeant, I was asked to go to Internal Affairs on a TDY assignment and learn how they perform their ‘magic.’ Before I knew it, Lt. Karen Hughes was accusing me of reading her emails and she had me investigated by (then) Sergeant Kevin McMahill. I was cleared and offered the opportunity to stay and finish my assignment. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could after telling PPA President Chris Collins and Diversity Director Walter Norris what was going on. After I was promoted to sergeant in 2007, I stood up for one of my probationary officers at DTAC when a dayshift sergeant was trying to get him fired. This rookie had made an error in his report regarding a late arrest and the recovery of a very small amount of heroin recovered at the City Jail. Captain Will Minor was professional enough to allow me to ‘advocate’ for my officer and Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy decided to extend the officer probation rather than fire him. This officer continues to serve with the LVMPD… but I had already started burning up some more of the ‘good will’ Metro showed me by hiring me back. The golden rule, DON’T CRITICIZE METRO, was the ‘memo’ that I missed! I then transferred to the Bolden Area Command to work for Lt. Ted Snodgrass. We had attended the academy together. Lt. Karen Hughes had already started messing with me at the DTAC; this continued at Bolden. Between working graveyard for Snodgrass and dayshift for Lt. Klatt, I was learning that my ‘style’ was not being received well by certain people in the LVMPD. Captain Pat Neville told me, “Things have changed since you left.” That statement was almost identical to the one made three years prior by Dave Kallas. So then I wanted to take the exam for police lieutenant. The Civil Service Rule required ‘normal’ candidates to have two years as a sergeant to qualify for lieutenant. I was denied an opportunity to test even though I had already been a lieutenant with the LVMPD for four years after also having four years as a sergeant. I appealed to the Civil Service Board and was denied. I don’t know if Elgin Simpson even recognized me from the days I supervised the Gerson Park/Sherman Gardens Neighborhood Police Team. I had met him and my squad of officers were well-received for reaching out to the community in West Las Vegas (before the Rodney King rioting) and before the ‘old wine’ in new bottles by others who followed us and claimed to be doing something new. Metro does not study history very well and Metro certainly can’t convince many people that they learn from their mistakes. I went back to the Strip to supervise the graveyard and we worked hard. I got in a little trouble for expressing my concerns in that Safe Strip Report in 2008. A couple of captains didn’t want to look bad in the eyes of Ted Moody. I was read the ‘riot act’ by Captain Curtis Williams because everyone wanted to keep a lid on the significant crime problems and emerging disorder on the Strip. I was wearing out even more of my welcome and it was not until years later that I even told Moody about getting chewed out because of what his commanders did not want him to know. So… I decided to move to the brand new area command (Convention Center) and continue to serve the Strip. My mistake was that I had not researched the reputation of Charles Hank. Things got ugly and they got ugly quick. When I defended another one of my officers who was being targeted by Hank and Lt. Karen Hughes I wrote to Internal Affairs. This was a total ‘witch-hunt’ and the officer was ‘cleared’ twice. How amazing it was for Captain Will Minor (who once had written me a thank you letter when I took him on a ride-along before he was ever a member of the LVMPD) to get ‘snotty’ with me and write, “Norm, I know you didn’t get an opportunity to get the full experience of internal affairs during your TDY so I will try to give you an understanding of how it works. Simply because you feel you have dealt with an issue in the field does not stop us from getting a complaint from other sources, be it the citizen, hotel personnel, or CRB. When we receive such complaints they expect the complaint to be thoroughly and impartially investigated. This I’m sure you can appreciate. In the case of Almazan’s initial complaint we received it from an outside source. However, we were unable to contact the complainant therefore the complaint was closed on SOC pending such contact. We have since made said contact thereby the case has been re-opened. Some things are not the Conspiracy Theory you choose to make them. I hope this gives you a clearer understanding and will alleviate any future confusion.” Minor was mocking me about surviving Karen Hughes’ attempt to fire me when I did a TDY to Internal Affairs in late 2006. Readers should be starting to see what happens to the once meek and mild and respectful folks when they achieve rank. Readers should see the training video, YES YOU CAN, that Tom Leen once made with none other than “Hollywood TJ Jenkins” once upon a time. He looked like he was afraid of his own shadow back then. I have repeatedly said that the LVMPD training program can create ‘monsters’ out of some people with deficient personality characteristics. The ‘proof is in the pudding,’ isn’t it? I had meetings with Deputy Chief O’Connor and Deputy Chief Joseph. I had Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody intervene and stop a forced transfer not too long after Captain Charles Hank was in the news for wife-beating. He set a hell of an example for his troops, that Charles Hank sure did! A couple of final ‘sound bites’ as I have chosen to call them… Deputy Chief Marc Joseph had once written the following to me, “Thank you very much for taking the time to help me prepare for the LT Exam. I left there with a 93%, #6 on the list.” He had successfully tested for promotion. A decade later, when he was a deputy chief and I was a lowly sergeant, he decided to meet me for coffee. I had drawn enough attention up Gillespie’s chain of command that I needed some ‘mentoring’ and I didn’t mind meeting with Joseph. Once again I was told, “things have changed” and, “you need to focus on relationship-building.” I might also benefit from reading a book titled, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. I bought it. I read it. I decided to do what was right and keep trying to improve Metro — essentially ignoring the advice that I had to start kissing a—!! My ‘assassin,’ Todd Fasulo, then entered the picture. Even though he knew I had the overwhelming support of multiple lieutenants (my direct supervisors), he forced Lt. Hans Walters to TERMINATE my ‘welcome’ with extreme MALICE. Fasulo made things up in his ‘fantasy world’ and to ingratiate himself in the eyes of Karen Hughes and the ‘Vice Enterprise.’ He once told me face to face, “I used to respect the hell out of you — but YOU HAVE CHANGED.” I thought about reminding him that I was probably a lieutenant when he was picking his nose at Bonanza High School (and never seeking a higher education to qualify him for Deputy Chief someday)… but I didn’t. I merely told him that I am the same person that left in 1996 to become a police chief and that I had to fight battles with unprofessional policing in a small town. I wasn’t going to be a chameleon for anyone — especially Gillespie’s MAFIA. What had changed when I was gone was that the power went to the group that has damaged Metro for the last 12 years. They still have it. They will maintain it even longer if Joe Lombardo gets elected. Lastly, I met with my former academy roommate (Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody) in late 2011 when I was appealing a career destroying performance evaluation directed by ‘Tubby’ Todd. We talked for two hours. He said, “You should have come to me a long time ago… just lay low and whatever is going to happen will come across my desk.” — The next month he signed off on my termination papers without a word being exchanged between us. The Alpha and the Omega. My career began with words of encouragement and words of warning from my former college professor Erik Beckman. It ended less than 4 months after I received the letter (below) from one of most highly respected academics in the world who studied policing for most of his life. I’m not sure if we have ever met, or if you know anything about my connection to the policing field. I have, for over fifty years, had an intense interest in policing, and have, with a base at the University of Wisconsin since 1964, been involved in research, training andwriting regarding the police. In that period of time, I have worked on all aspects of policing, including efforts to clarify, for communication with the public, the complex nature of the police function in a democracy and especially the role of the police in the use of deadly force. I heard the interview with you on National Public Radio on January 27th. Very conscious of the difficulty in bringing about positive change in policing, I want you to know that I was extremely proud of you and what you had to say to a national audience. You accurately articulated, in very clear language, the role of the police in a free society and, especially, their role in the use of deadly force. I often get discouraged after working for all of these years on bringing about not only improvement in policing, but a better understanding of the police function in society. You lifted my spirits, in that you so clearly conveyed that we have made enormous progress in internalizing the important values that go along with the police job. I hope your words inspire others working in the field. They contribute so much to the true professionalism of the police. Thank you for conveying your perspective to a national audience. It reflected very well on you, your training, your supervisors, and your entire department. I have directed many of my associates to the transcript of your interview — and cited it as an example of what is so desperately needed in policing — i.e., operating police officers at the street level articulating the complex nature of what is expected of them. We would be so much better off if others followed your lead. Congratulations to you, your superiors and your department for articulating such a sophisticated understanding of the delicate nature, complexity and importance of the police role in our society. Sincerely Yours, Herman Goldstein, Professor Emeritus, Law School, University of Wisconsin, Maddison, WI Yes — Metro does beat away ‘talent’ with a club the size of Buford Pusser’s! * * * * *
Norm Jahn is a former LVMPD lieutenant, who has also served as a police chief in Shawano, Wisconsin, and has nearly 25 years of police experience. Jahn now contributes his opinions and ideas to help improve policing in general, and in Las Vegas in particular, through his weekly column in the Las Vegas Tribune.