During an interview with local television station KSNV News3, the top law enforcement officer in Clark County admits that he is millions short to give Las Vegas residents a fair sense of safety and security.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie, during the interview with television newscaster Jim Snyder, admitted that he has already cut the budget all he could and told why “we can’t go any lower, and I can make a very compelling case to anyone who would want to sit down with me and [have me] explain very clearly as to why we can’t go any lower.”
What the Sheriff of Clark County did not tell Snyder is that he still has $130 million in a bank account that is gaining interest that can very well be used for some of the expenses.
The $130 million came from the one half percent, approved by the voters in 2004 and confirmed by the legislature in 2005, to hire more police officers, but that hiring never took place making anyone wonder if the money is still in the bank; but I think it’s more credible to assume that if the money is not in the bank, the county commissioner and city council would have run for cover because they also approved that one half percent.
It’s not that the Sheriff would lie to the county or the city officials, because if that was in fact a habit of the Sheriff, he would keep all those officials in the loop on other issues.
One very serious issue is that of the rumors, not confirmed yet by the Las Vegas Tribune, regarding the fact that the county jail has been deemed partially or fully condemned because of construction defects, making people wonder who is responsible for this and who is going to pay for it.
Sheriff Gillespie claims that he cannot cut any more out of his budget, but that is because he is in the forest and does not want to see the trees.
With the help of several sources within the Department and others knowledgeable about such issues, we came up with several ways to cut down the budget and it will be our contribution to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
He could cut out or reduce the number of “Civilian Directors” at a savings of $250,000 each per year, which are considered by many in and out of the department a campaign payback. Currently, there are 16 Executive Directors on the payroll.
He could revamp or eliminate the drug dog program, which has turned into the “Drug Dog Scandal,” by reexamining the costs associated with the purchase of these special dogs and the conflict of interests of department members involved in the breeding and selling of these phony drug dogs at high prices to the NHP and Metro.
How does the commission feel about the Sheriff asking for more money when there apparently is no accountability for the $42 million rip off for the police radios, whereby two of the Sheriff’s staff members—namely Deputy Chief Dennis Cobb and Director Phil Rolland — went to work for the radio company (Harris Corp) and the radio system still had to be replaced. Does the police department just have an open book to spend as they wish?
In an effort to help the Sheriff cut the budget we have done a little digging; and because the Sheriff does not want to give the Las Vegas Tribune the time of day – since we are not a supporter of his administration and the newspaper did not endorse his candidacy the two times he ran for office – the newspaper came up with a few more ways that Metro could cut its budget.
—Elimination of the controversial “Tasers with cameras” and Body Cameras”;
—The cleaning up of the “sweetheart deals” with the repair and purchase of patrol vehicles and undercover vehicles;
—The cleaning up of the “sweetheart deals” associated with the tow companies;
—The cleaning up of the “sweetheart deals” of the food catering service for the county jail;
—The cleaning up of the bidding process “sweetheart deals” for outsourcing needed services for the police department, from maintenance, communications, fuel, and utilities;
—The doubling up of patrol officers in a patrol car assigned to a specific area;
—The elimination of the Gun Registration section;
—The reduction of the Personnel section, since nobody is getting hired;
—The elimination of the police academy staff;
—The reduction of the Internal Affairs Section – 33 detectives is rather excessive and a waste.
He could also eliminate the requirement of patrol time to staff members, sergeants, lieutenants and captains to be in a patrol car, at least as a visual presence, if not actual police work.
And how about an actual accounting of all monies confiscated from drug arrests and proper distribution back into the general fund.
And yet some more:
—The elimination of required quotas for writing citations in lieu of punishment for patrol officers;
—The examination of the jail in Laughlin and its requirement vs. costs to operate;
—Restricting the videotaping of suspects in the jail by Reality TV shows, thus preventing future lawsuits, two of which are still pending.
—The elimination of staff members, lieutenants and captains placed in assignments that require minimal manual skills to perform, such as driving a mobile office and supplying real cops with cold beverages, during critical incidents;
—The elimination of hiring outside agencies to manage data storage, officer safety requirements, discipline recommendations and certifications of competency at exorbitant rates, when these duties should be handled in house and by police personnel.
That should give them something to consider.