I never thought I’d see the day when Sheriff Joe Lombardo would agree with me or this newspaper; in fact I did not believe that former Sheriff Doug Gillespie would have allowed him to agree with us — but he did.
For years I have been saying that these special campaign pay-back positions should go back in the field until more (new) police officers are hired, and now Sheriff Lombardo is doing just that.
Maybe Sheriff Lombardo will read this column by mistake, because I don’t think that those public relation individuals at the Public Information Office will ever tell him what I write.
A few days ago Sheriff Joe Lombardo shocked the community by announcing a plan to transfer detectives and other plainclothes officers “to temporary two-week patrol rotations” until the new group of 150 police officers end their training, and about 40 new officers that will be finished with their training will be ready to work on their own.
I assume that the so-called training is what used to be called the police academy — but we all know what happens when we assume — yet I am getting too old to learn the new language of today.
For years I have been saying that all those big-bellied detectives should be taken back to do some police work if they can still fit in their old uniforms; remember some of these guys were promoted twenty or thirty years ago and today people know when they are coming around the corner because their big bellies turn the corner before they do.
As much as I agree with Sheriff Lombardo this time, I believe he should extend the practice to those in the Public Information Office (if they are still operating under that name), and the privileged detectives assigned to the infamous police union in campaign payback positions for their support to one candidate or another.
The only issue with the police union detectives is that there is one of those detectives that is no longer allowed to work the streets of Las Vegas.
Bryan Yant, a detective with the Las Vegas Police Department, is an officer involved in a high-profile officer-involved shooting; there are several differences between how his situation was handled and how similar situations are usually handled.
Yant, in his first ten years as a police officer, had been involved in three police shootings, killing two suspects and wounding the third; he lied to a judge to obtain a false search warrant to enter the home of Trevon Cole, an alleged small marijuana dealer who was naked in his bathroom when the detective forced his way into the apartment Cole shared with his pregnant girlfriend.
Yant’s explanation of the shooting given during a coroner’s inquest presented discrepancies from the coroner’s explanation for the shooting.
The Clark County prosecutor, who normally sides with the police, asked Yant how he could explain the two different versions of the shooting (one being Yant’s version) to which he cynically responded, “I am not a forensic scientist; that is what I saw.”
As a surprise to many people, the Police Union then named Yant to a position in which he would counsel police officers involved in shootings — perhaps even telling them how to lie to a judge and how to get away with murder — and even police officers, active police officers within Metro, have expressed their disappointment with Yant’s recent promotion by their union.
But I am getting off track; my point is that I agree with Sheriff Lombardo’s new policy to utilize these men and women in favorable positions to serve the community the best way possible until better days are here to stay and more officers are available to serve the community.
Of course, I assume (there I go again) that Chris Collins and his privileged police union will react to the Sheriff’s plan, but remember that the Las Vegas Tribune is not privileged to receive police information as any other local newspaper is because of the hate directed at us (the Las Vegas Tribune) left behind by former Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
For years the police union has been operating like a private enterprise for corrupted police detective (now retired and turned into a legal drug pusher) David Kallas and his successor, Chris Collins, giving information to no one and opening the union books to no one, and keeping the money source and route secret, when all members should be allowed to check the books any time they want to.
Maybe, if I am lucky enough for Sheriff Lombardo to read this column, he may decide to include an inspection of the union ‘s everyday operation.
Please do not tell me that the Sheriff has no authority to do such a thing because I speak with an accent but I do not think with an accent. The union is paid and controlled by LVMPD, and operated with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s money. How can you tell me that they cannot intervene in union issues?
It is up to you now, Sheriff Joe Lombardo: you are invited to be a guest on my radio show any time, any day you choose, to talk about issues that are important to our community.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.