It is pretty much understood the LVMPD Police Administration in 2004 introduced, accepted and adopted a previously known-to-be defective police radio system, which was already riddled with lawsuits across the country. This Harris digital radio system was supposed to be integrated into and with, our time-honored analog police radio system, and eventually was to replace our old radio system that, I might add, worked perfectly for over three decades.
It should also be noted that some of us older cops purchased on our own, in the early ’80s, our own portable police radios, for approx. $150 each, from a company called Maxon, because there were not enough portable radios to equip each officer while on duty. This particular piece of equipment was so valuable to each officer, that it was not a hard decision to make and purchase, and account for, relative to one’s own financial condition at the time. The LVMPD approved the purchase of this portable radio by officers, and then later reversed their approval for unknown reasons.
The initial cost for this new digital radio system was $42 million, and subsequently another $26 million in the last couple of years was additionally invested to help continue the fixing and repairing of this faulty digital radio system. Unfortunately, that isn’t working either; and if I was to venture a guess, I’d say that eventually the entire Harris Digital Radio system is going to have to be completely scraped before any more taxpayer money is wasted on it. In my humble opinion, 68 million dollars (minimum) should have been enough to grease the pockets of this corrupted police administration, and others, at least for a while.
The latest “scam venture” is going to be the body cameras for uniformed police officers, allegedly to help reduce the amount of police brutality and misconduct complaints and to hold officers more accountable for their misconduct with the public. Nothing could be further from the truth. Body Cameras are merely going to be another
high dollar taxpayer expense that is not going to reduce police misconduct or hold anybody responsible or accountable for anything.
What will happen is that your patrol officers will merely reduce their involvement with “in-progress crimes,” and just add more response time to these incidents, and be more reluctant to involve themselves in “risky lawsuit type” high profile critical incidents, for which they can be sued 20 different ways.
Be looking closely at the companies that are going to offer to sell their body cameras to the police department, and who exactly are going to be greased in the LVMPD for this purchase.
By the way, the body cameras won’t last; as soon as one of the “rich and powerful” are caught on camera, doing something unlawful, or with their pants down, that will be the end of the body cameras, at least in this city.
Years ago, LAPD was going through a similar situation because of a loss of Honor, Integrity and Trust with the public, just as the LVMPD is experiencing now. The scrutiny by the public was so intense against patrol officers that a patrol survival motto was developed: “Look Away and Work Another Day” was adopted by most patrol officers. For those
of you that don’t grasp what I am saying, patrol officers were of the mindset that while patrolling their sector beat, if they would happen to see a citizen being victimized, a business being robbed or looted, or illegal drugs being sold in the open, they would just look away and continue to drive past and pretend they didn’t see anything, and continue driving through their patrol sector beat, totally unaware.
This is the reality of putting the monkey on the back of the patrol officer; and no matter what the body video captures, there is always going to be an unscrupulous defense attorney that is going to convince everyone, including a jury, of what they are actually seeing in the video.
No patrol officer can be forced to enforce the law, unless he is interjected into a criminal situation such as answering a radio call from a complainant. The police department is already riddled with completely worthless, incompetent, unmotivated and inept police officers who actually work harder at avoiding police radio calls, then if they would just do their jobs and obey their Oath. (Thank you, Affirmative Action.) Most of these types of officers have been promoted to higher ranks and are now part of the police administration.
If anyone really believes that placing a body camera on a patrol officer’s uniform and body is really going to change police culture for the better, then they should consider themselves a prime recipient of the “Darwin Award.” Body Cameras “will” change something alright: proactive policing will disappear, and we will only be left with minimal, if that, “reactive policing,” and crime will soar.
The only way for police culture to change for the better is to completely purge the already decadent, corrupted, maligned, and malignant current LVMPD police administration, and not just replace bodies or change names with more of the same — which, unfortunately, will only continue to prolong the cancerous corrupted infestation of this police administration, which is now destroying my beloved police department, along with its honorable and real police officers.
In God We Trust.
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Gordon Martines is a former LVMPD detective who has served in many capacities over his 39-year career in law enforcement. He has been a candidate for sheriff in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with the intention of bringing integrity and accountability back to the department, and filed a federal lawsuit against LVMPD in 2011. Martines now contributes his opinions and ideas to the Las Vegas Tribune to keep the public informed and help improve policing in Las Vegas. He has also appeared on the Face the Tribune radio program several times to share his plan for a better LVMPD.