It took me by surprise to hear Chris Collins, the head of the infamous Police Protective Association, talking on the radio because I was told by his public relations company that he was in Carson City attending the legislature.
Now remember, it takes me a long time to drive to work because I drive very carefully and watch out to be sure I don’t have a black and white behind me. I drive 10 miles per hour in the 15 mph school zones and 20 miles per hour in the 25 mph zone. I utilize all signals; and if I have to talk on the phone, I pull over, turn the engine off and take the key out of the ignition. I swear this is the honest to God truth because I don’t want to give “the man” any good reason to interact with me.
On Thursday, May 23, some person possibly in need of a drug fix walked in here — passing herself off as “normal” while she was possibly sizing us up — and robbed the office. But we did not call the police; we went through the whole routine of informing the bank, having the credit cards cancelled, etc., but we did not call the police even if we did file a police report for all the usual reasons, and tended to all the details that we are all forced to do because we like to think that the police report is going to help find the perpetrator.
Anyway, I am getting away from the purpose of this column and that was not my intention.
More than once I invited Chris Collins to be on Face The Tribune through his public relations man, but he always had some cockamamie excuse for Chris, most likely with the full knowledge and consent of Chris, so I called in on that show when I heard his voice.
Very seldom do I call in on someone else’s show, but I do when it is an issue that I feel very passionate and strongly about, like police issues or immigration issues.
Chris Collins says that the PPA does not represent officers who have committed a crime – oh, by the way, Chris Collins is the president of the Police Protective Association, AKA PPA, the union for the police officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
So I called in and asked Chris, “Since the police union doesn’t defend officers that commit crimes, does that mean that they considered that Officer Lorie Bisch and Detective Gordon Martines have committed a crime for running for Sheriff against Douglas Gillespie?”
I was not satisfied with his answer, but when we are on someone else’s airtime we have to accept the opportunity they give the callers and be happy with that.
Both Bisch and Martines have campaigned to be our next sheriff, and they both had to suffer the consequences of retaliation and abuse of power by the present administration that cynically denied any wrongdoing.
After I heard Chris Collins on the radio, and I was given the opportunity to be in a dialog with the man who is afraid to be on Face The Tribune, I did not want to then abuse the generosity of the show’s host; so when I got to the office I started writing a new column, one more appropriate that can even be considered a continuation of the talk show.
Both Bisch and Martines are honorable police officers with many years of service and dedication to the department; and just the fact that they are both Spanish, Latinos or whatever other title they like to call us today, and both ran for office against a friend of Chris Collins, it could give the impression that there might be a conspiracy to commit discrimination; but of course, Collins and Gillespie would both deny the charges and even call me “anti-police,” which is very far from the truth.
I have many friends within the police department and I have respect for most of the members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and I could never be “anti-police.” What I am is “anti” all of the following: police corruption, police abuse, police discrimination, a discriminatory police administration and a police dictatorship that retaliates against anyone who is not on Gillespie’s side.
After this newspaper rejected the idea of running a free four-page display of Douglas Gillespie’s career — as we did for our friend and former sheriff Bill Young, as our small way of thanking him for his service to the community — and after the Las Vegas Tribune did not endorse Douglas Gillespie, AKA Doug Gillespie, AKA Sheriff Gillespie for the position he now holds, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie declared war on this newspaper by antagonizing everyone in the community that is afraid of his retaliatory habits against this newspaper and me, another one of those Spanish-speaking persons, in particular.
We, at the Las Vegas Tribune – or I as a person and as the captain of this ship — on the other hand do not retaliate or discriminate against anyone. We have invited Sheriff Gillespie to our editorial meetings and to our radio show, but he has ignored our invitations.
He has gone on other radio shows where the hosts, for political reasons, have insulted him, have crossed the line into his family issues and have humiliated him for their own political aspirations or for the aspirations of someone they know.
We have never crossed that ethical line of attacking the Sheriff on his family issues; we are only concerned about his professional conduct and his administrative performance.
We have invited Chris Collins to be on Face The Tribune twice; one time through his public relations spokesperson and another time when I personally spoke with him on the telephone.
“I have to hear the show because I don’t like to be ambushed…” Chris Collins told me on that occasion, but I assumed he said that because he does not know me and the people who have talked to him about me are those who do not want the truth to be exposed.
I may speak with an accent, but I do not think with an accent. I have class and I know how to respect people who are my guests and are in my place; on many occasions I even ask my guests if there is anything that they want to avoid talking about.
I do not need to make points with anyone; I don’t need to impress anyone and I don’t need to laugh or embarrass anyone to make me look important, as others do. I have no political aspirations and I don’t drink and have never been arrested for making a fool out of myself while being intoxicated in public, holidays or not.
In fact, those who know me are very much aware that I value my privacy above anything and don’t like crowds, pictures or cameras; the more incognito I can be, the better I feel.
I am one of those who believes that there are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth, and I enjoy giving everyone the opportunity to tell their side of the story because that will give my audience and my readers the opportunity to listen to all sides and draw their own conclusion about the facts.
Again, now in this public forum, I would like to extend to the president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, Chris Collins, an open invitation to appear on Face The Tribune. The doors are always open, and as I always say at the beginning of the show: If you have nothing to hide or if you are not guilty of anything, you should not have to worry about facing the Tribune.
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My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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