Part Two of Two
In Part I, in my last column (April 2, 2014), I wrote about my first-hand experience with Metro over my two periods as a dedicated public servant in order to illustrate how often the public, including visitors, gets far less efficiency and much less competency from law enforcement than imaginable and why so many crimes are not prevented, tracked and left unsolved. I spoke in detail about crimes against tourists. (See that edition for my ABCs — tips to help guard yourself against crime as a visitor to Las Vegas and how to report a crime to get better police response.) This week, in PartII, I’ll start presenting specifics of what information was being relayed to Metro “command” by me and what action — or lack of action — took place. I’ll also describe some crimes that could have been solved, though I don’t believe that any of them were investigated properly. I am sharing my insights and experience to help the public see inside the system. Presented in italics below is one of the many memos I wrote to my former lieutenant Hans Walters, who also became my friend. I wrote this exactly four months before Captain Todd Fasulo called me into his office, violated most every provision and protection of the law — the Police Officer Bill of Rights — and orchestrated a termination case alleging that I was “untruthful.” Written 3/5/11 I spoke with CM this morning. He told me that they had a SF in custody on Thursday night’s shift for a $2,800 trick roll. From what I have been told, she went to a room and ripped off a guy earlier in the evening. He reported it to security. They found video. She returned later in the morning and was recognized. They took her into custody. Metro was called. Metro responded. She didn’t have the money any longer (she was back preying for more). The victim was married and supposedly did not want to prosecute (since there was no money to return… and he was married). I guess these facts impacted his decision — but I think we better get a ‘bright line’ rule for our officers on handling money in these circumstances — like DO NOT return it — impound it!!! Along with the 5 trick rolls that I learned about last week (and put on your desk)… this type of incident still concerns me from a crime fighting perspective. I loved hearing the captain’s approach to policing the Strip. In line with his direction (and while out on a bike ride today where I am able to do some ‘thinking’) I came up with the following ideas. STOLEN MOTOR VEHICLES We have responded to the MGM and they have a 411 suspect detained for us. Let’s say that they even have the theft on video. Security had the suspect in the holding room when we arrived. We were able to identify the owner and had him come down from his room. He tells us since the car was stopped before it got out of the valet gate, and since he got his car back undamaged, he does NOT want to prosecute. A criminal history check reveals no wants on the suspect. Would we tolerate the officers clearing the call without a crime report, without any written statements/documents, without any F.I. on the car thief, and without any sharing of information on who is stealing cars by putting it in Patrol Briefing, calling Auto Theft, sharing information with TCU??? I think NOT! AUTO BURGLARIES We have responded to the Fashion Show Mall and they had an auto burglar in custody (or maybe we even caught one ‘in-progress’ and we were able to contact the victim by paging inside the mall…) The registered owner sees the GPS on the table in the holding room and realizes that she forgot to lock her car. Since there is no damage to the car and she has her GPS back… she does not want to ‘get the teenager’ in trouble so she does not want to prosecute. A criminal history check reveals no wants on the suspect. Would we tolerate the officers clearing the call without a crime report, without any written statements/documents, without any F.I. on the 406V suspect, and without sharing of information on who is breaking into/stealing stuff from cars at one of our hot spots by contacting TCU or others??? I think NOT — or at least not if we knew this was happening. CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE If we are going to fight crime more effectively we need to know what crimes are taking place (even if they are not ACTION crimes). We need to know who is doing the crimes, where they live, what they are driving, and when they are out doing crimes. I know of numerous opportunities where we could be gathering criminal intel on theft suspects preying on our TOURISTS! If we are trying to have the safest tourist destination in America we can’t ignore crimes just because they are not ACTION crimes. Any tourist crime should be our top priority on the Strip. I’m pretty sure that our problems continue and more and more prostitutes and pimps move to or circulate through Las Vegas because of how ineffective we have been. The profits are high. The consequences are very low — especially if they carefully select out of country tourists. I think we need to start a log at the station (or even ask dispatch if they can log all prostitution-related theft crimes on the streets or in the hotels that are clearly not retail thefts or residential thefts). I don’t know for sure why we keep track of people put on the PT for transport when we are not keeping track of felony crimes that have taken place and that have been brought to our attention. I do actually feel the PT log has some value… but it is to help solve crimes by showing who was out that night and when and where, etc… Please forward my suggestion… that we start tracking these crimes and getting important suspect information shared and saved so we can do a better job and catch them the next time. If Ms. F can make almost $3,000 a night… with impunity… I don’t think it is going to stop and we are going to stay busier than we need to be. And so it is… and so it will continue to be with the LVMPD. Unless you are ‘favored,’ you need to stay in your place — know nothing, have no opinions, and seek no improvement. Certainly don’t advocate for improved service to victims of crimes or even for fair treatment of our own employees. I did both, and I paid serious consequences! 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.