Below are some excerpts of Lombardo’s column: “…We, in the law enforcement profession, have not always met the public’s expectations in our duty to protect and to serve.”
“The turmoil has caused police departments to reconsider their priorities and to evaluate how they go about performing their role as guardians of democracy.”
“‘How do we police in a way that builds confidence and trust?’” In answering this question, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has, over the past five years, embarked on a path to significant reform.”
“It is with both care and confidence that I say that we have placed the proper emphasis on keeping officers safe while ensuring that an officer’s use of force was appropriate and necessary. The needless use of force can be the defining moment for a law enforcement agency.”
“We know that not every potentially violent conflict can be de-escalated, but we also have an understanding that officers have the ability to steer a threatening encounter toward to a more peaceful resolution.”
“…police departments must continuously evaluate their performances in critical incidents, identifying missed opportunities to intercept the need to use force.”
“As your sheriff, I am committed to providing open, fair and accountable policing.”
“Transparency is important for police departments to demonstrate that they are investigating an incident fairly, thoroughly and expeditiously. Over the past year, we have publicly provided as much information as possible, in as timely a manner as practical, after an officer-involved shooting. Our disclosure of the circumstances surrounding an incident, from our early media briefings, to the Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review, to publishing our investigative reports on our website, has been noted as a national best practice.”
“Metro has made tremendous strides toward reducing our uses of deadly force… All aspects surrounding Metro’s uses of force have evolved, from our training, tactics, policy, investigations and oversight…
Metro has become a leader in policing. We are committed to sustaining the vigilance and meeting greater expectations on this important issue.”
So now a 24-year-old man (Abel Correa) is dead
after police responded a few hours after a broken window report was called in. He may have been high on drugs. He may have had mental health problems. The police may have been to the residence numerous
times. They may have had limited reasonable options when he ‘sprung’ at the officers from a closet with a ‘sharp object.’ I have no idea as to the ‘justification’ for this shooting — remember it is a ‘legal’ justification that determines whether the district attorney will take any action. The ‘necessity’ for any shooting is another question.
We will now be forced to watch Captain McCarthy on YouTube. We will be forced to accept the ‘transparency’ that Metro promises. We will probably be forced to wait for over a year until the two shooting reports are uploaded on the Office of Internal Oversight page for public viewing. By that time, we have to hope that Metro will follow their policy and ask questions about: 1. The severity of the crime(s) at issue; 2. Whether the subject poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officer(s) or others; 3. Whether the subject is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight; 4. The influence of drugs/alcohol or the mental capacity of the subject; 5. The time available to an officer to make a decision; 6. The availability of officers/resources to de-escalate the situation; 7. The proximity or access of weapons to the subject; 8. The environmental factors and/or other exigent circumstances.
Did Metro consider this to be a barricaded subject? Did anyone try to use a Taser? Was a supervisor ever notified or on the scene?
Ultimately, could a ‘re-play’ of the incident result in no loss of life? Furthermore, what, if any, immediate training, procedures, or discussions need to take place to get information out to other officers who may face identical circumstances?
These are the issues that must be examined. Will Sheriff Lombardo really ‘manage’ use of force?
JAHN ARBITRATOR’S OPINION & AWARD
I wasn’t disappointed, but I didn’t see my name listed by Carly Fiorina when she explained how she was in ‘good company’ after being fired for challenging the status quo (like Oprah, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and Michael Bloomberg). She courageously responded during a recent interview, “I challenged the status quo. It is what leaders must do. And when you challenge the status quo, when you lead, you make enemies. It’s why so few people lead.” This statement is also true for police leaders as well. You can be badly scarred or see your
career end if you assert yourself — even if it is to potentially save lives or serve the public more effectively.
I was reminded of how I got fired when I then noticed that three years ago (8/10/12), I learned that my termination had been upheld by an inattentive/comatose arbitrator from Portland, OR. Ironically, they call the document an ‘Award’ — he decided the LVMPD did have ‘cause’ to terminate me for crossing the street because he believed one story over another. In spite of the evidence, I was allegedly untruthful during an Internal Affairs investigation conducted by Sgt. Kelly McMahill — a close friend of the Gillespie regime. I believe she asked me the same question nearly 20 times. I repeatedly told her I had not left my area to conduct any follow-up investigation and had not followed Captain Fasulo’s ‘special’ rule created just for me.
It didn’t matter. Before concluding her investigation she and her husband (now Undersheriff Kevin McMahill) actually went on vacation with Fasulo. Later, they were then all involved in a discussion of a still ‘unadjudicated’ investigation at a bar in Henderson. This was during a celebration of Kevin’s promotion to Deputy Chief back in 2011. So I guess I am a topic of discussion when the Fasulo’s and McMahills go on vacation and have celebrations!! The McMahills now are likely to earn an income (salary and benefits) of nearly a half-millon dollars a year! That is for just two employees (a lieutenant and an undersheriff) at the LVMPD. They are doing ‘great’ while I have struggled for several years. Fiorina is right — you make enemies
challenging the status quo and can get targeted and terminated, which is why so few people chose to lead. Be careful, Sheriff Joe!
Norm Jahn served with the LVMPD for over 21 years and achieved the rank of lieutenant. He also served as a police chief in Wisconsin for over three years. Jahn has been a university professor and also taught in the criminal justice program at the College of Southern Nevada for over a decade. Jahn received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from UNLV. He has researched police performance and the management and leadership of police departments.
His weekly column focuses on current policing issues, especially those involving the LVMPD. Norm provides ‘insight with an edge’ to inform the public and improve policing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org