North Las Vegas Police Department: Incompetence or abuse of power?
By Steve Sanson
Veterans in Politics
Why would the City of North Las Vegas permit the police chief, former police chiefs, and acting police chiefs to withhold retired police officers’ rights to their retired police officer’s badge and the ability to carry a firearm concealed nationwide? Is it for personal and/or political reasons? Are these just plain hateful reasons for the men and women who took an oath to serve and protect? Is there any accountability within the North Las Vegas City Government? Should our State Attorney General’s Office take action? It seems that most people are content to sit back and let the police department’s hierarchy and City officials run amuck.
We should not trample on the rights of these brave men and women of the North Las Vegas Police Department who have served their time without any reprimands. Former President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, which exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from State laws that prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms, in the Roosevelt Room, Thursday, July 22nd, 2004. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law, enacted in that year, that allows two classes of persons — the “qualified law enforcement officer“ and the “qualified retired or separated law enforcement officer” — to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions.
LEOSA is often incorrectly referred to as “H.R. 218.” The act was introduced during the 108th Congress as H.R. 218 and enacted as Public Law 108-277. The law was later amended by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1132, Public Law 111-272), and Section 1099C of the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310, Public Law 112-239). It is codified within the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 as 18 USC § 926B and USC § 926C. We are not talking about police officers who resign instead of being terminated or a problem officer who has pending criminal charges. However, we are talking about high-quality, professional, dedicated, honorable police officers.
The chief and former chiefs decided to abuse their power, to ignore an American National mandate that was put into effect by former President George W. Bush. In North Las Vegas, police Chiefs use their discretion and decide who gets their retirement police officers badge and HR-218 letter based on their personal and political bias, which includes cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, and whatever they decide is a good reason to screw over a good person, a good police officer. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218, allows qualified Law Enforcement officers (LEOs) and qualified retired LEOs (RLEOs) to concealed carry in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. This concealed carry law for enforcement officers and retired enforcement officers was placed into effect to protect ALL Americans from Terrorist attacks, Active Shooters, and every other potentially deadly situation in America. This is to be used when the off-duty officer or retired officer decides to intervene. They are not mandated, but if they choose to engage with an Active Shooter at an Elementary School, the officer has a chance to save lives because the on-duty police officers cannot be everywhere.
What’s going on in the North Las Vegas Police Department?
The City of North Las Vegas is currently being sued by a Black police officer in Clark County District Court for racial discrimination. The list includes the former police chief Pamela Ojeda and the former assistant chief Clint Ryan who had to quickly resign when he was arrested by Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and booked. We wonder if Clint Ryan received his retirement badge and HR-218 letter because he was on the “friends and family plan.” A retired police lieutenant filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the City of North Las Vegas. The EEOC refused to put his complaint into words. They tried to paraphrase but left out all of the incriminating details. That same lieutenant was reassigned to the fire department, received an injury, and then reassigned again to the Jail in retaliation for filing a Human Resources (HR) Complaint.
The City of North Las Vegas just settled a sexual harassment and gender bias case against a police officer (male) who filed against the same former chief and the City. Another police officer (male) has filed a complaint with North Las Vegas HR Department and the EEOC for sexual (gender) harassment and retaliation because he would not let them discipline him for doing anything wrong. His female partner asked the investigator why she was not being investigated because she did the same thing. Multiple officers have filed multiple complaints against the chief, the city, and members of the command staff on multiple occasions — including communications (dispatch). The complaints include harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination, retaliation, and civil rights violations. And yet, nothing is done about it. Many influential people are well-aware of what is going on in the City, but none of them will even lift a finger.
City Management is aware of the complaints, politicians are aware of the complaints, the AG is aware of the complaints, the command staff at the police department is aware of the complaints, the Employee Management Relations Board (EMRB) is aware of the complaints, the EEOC is aware of the complaints; the Division of Industrial Relations has received complaints, Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) has received complaints, the Nevada Attorney General has received complaints, and yet does nothing. Dead silence and an intentional disregard for a City and a Police Department that is ruining careers and ruining lives regularly. The City of North Las Vegas has no police chief right now, they only use “acting” chiefs. Mainly because all of the people promoted are “on-the-team” but have no real education and no real experience.
Many of them hide in their offices and do their college homework or conduct their side business out of their city office while good officers are working to keep the City safe.
The City of North Las Vegas, the NLVPD, and the unions are afraid to go outside and conduct a nationwide search for a police chief because they can never be sure if the new police chief will “keep all of their secrets.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has around 2.5 officers per every thousand residents. Why does the North Las Vegas Police Department (NLVPD) have less than 1 officer per every thousand residents? Where are the new officers and existing officers, and where are the millions of dollars that can only be used by the police department to hire, train and equip those officers? Where are the police officers, the training, the police equipment, the squad cars, and the new police station that the City took the money for 10 or 12 years ago?
Did Former police chief, Pam Ojeda receive her right to carry concealed nationwide and receive her retirement badge even though there is pending litigation for racial discrimination, pending complaints about gender bias, harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination, retaliation, and civil rights violations?Who in the City, in the NLVPD, in the State of Nevada is holding her accountable for dishonorable service?Who within the City is providing her with legal protection or legal advice for her actions? Was there an investigation of record? Can we see it? What are the results? If good, honorable officers are having their badges held back and their right to carry nationwide and the person applying that abuse of power is being accused of serious civil rights violations, isn’t that unethical, immoral, and possibly illegal?
We contact North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and he stated that he does not know about this issue. City Manager Ryan Juden said he is aware and looking into it. Councilman Richard Cherchio, the only member of the city council that doesn’t have an election this year, also responded and said that he heard something about it before our conversation and he would look to see if the discretion of the Police Chief violates the Federal Law Enforcement Safety Act. All members of the city council were contacted. We haven’t had any communication from the other council members. Do you believe that the Police Officers that were denied their right to exercise the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 should file a Class Action Lawsuit against the City and the Police Department?