For Immediate Release
Steve Sanson President Veterans In Politics International, Inc. 702 283 8088
Karen Steelmon Auxiliary Director Veterans In Politics International, Inc. 702 238 5134
Backroom deals between the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association
Carson City, Nevada I had the honor and privilege to be before the Legislative Committee on Taxation in opposition of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Sheriff Doug Gillespie for Assembly Bill 496 the ‘More Cops Initiative Bill’ to increase sales and property tax.
The Sheriff however had his resolution past and he came before the Nevada Legislative Committee yesterday with a show of force. Gillespie had the police Chiefs from several municipalities supporting this bill. I was not surprised by this show of support however I was surprised by the support of Chris Collins who is the President of the Police Protective Association (PPA). Officer Collins stated that all of his 4500 cops support this bill; I wanted to know if this was from a hand vote or ballot. Interesting that he speaks for the ‘cops’ with no real statistics around the ‘real’ level of support around this bill.
However, we were surprised when we saw the President of the Police Protective Association all of a sudden testify in support of this bill when all along he was against it until 4/2/13. The reason we were surprised is that the PPA have been lobbying against this bill ever since the bill was written; now they support it? After further investigation into the matter we found out from independent sources that the Police Protective Association and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department so happen to be in the middle of a contract negotiation. Could you say backroom deal?
The Sheriff was instrumental in explaining to the legislatures that the safety of our citizens are in danger and they need 510 more officers to keep them company or else. Can you say fear tactic. Not long ago the North Las Vegas Police Union displayed signs saying: “We can’t guarantee your safety anymore”! Sound familiar?
The Sheriff is sitting on a surplus of $136 million dollars from the last tax initiative, the Sheriff is attempting to put fear into the hearts of the legislature by saying how crime is on a rise and officers are defenseless because they are outnumbered.
Why is he attempting to increase taxes on a struggling economy when he has the money to support more cops?
VIPI (Veterans in Politics International) argued against AB 496 due to the following reasons:
1) The Collective Bargaining Contract NRS 288 and 289 needs to be revisited. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has 8 police officers on the Executive Board: Chris Collins (President), Mark Chaparian, Thomas Reid, Mike Ramirez, Scott Nicholas, Kirk Hooten, Daryyl Clodt, and Rory Neslund. These Board Members are paid with tax payers dollars as a Police Officer yet they do not do any Police duties and they cost the tax payers $1.2 million annually in salary alone. These officers loyalty are with the union they serve. They should be paid from union dues not from the backs of the tax payers, while turning their backs on the tax payers.
2) Sheriff Gillespie moved out of Las Vegas City Hall several years ago and has moved the police headquarters to Martin Luther King Blvd. and Alta. This building had to be retrofitted to fit the security needs for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spending hundreds of thousand s of tax payers’ dollars. The Sheriff signed a 30 year lease and an option to buy in 10 years. The tax payers are paying rent on this building at a cost of one million dollars per month.
3) The Sheriff has several community centers around the valley. One center is located in the Boulevard Mall; it is retrofitted to fit Metro’s needs, plus signage, and utilities. No police officers are stationed there and it is manned with volunteers passing out pamphlets. We are not sure what the cost is, yet I can guess that the tax payers have and are still paying for this location in some fashion.
4) The Sheriff signed off on a high tech communication system in 2010 called Desert Sky since it’s implantation into the department it has had ongoing problems. It is one of the causes blamed for the untimely death of Army Gulf War Veteran Stanley Gibson. This communication system has cost the tax payers $42 million dollars. Now the Sheriff is searching for more money to purchase another communication system. While he claims this unreliable system will still be used, but it will only be used as a giant pager.
5) There are over 300 police officers making well over $100,000 per year: http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/las-vegas-metro-police-department/
6) When a police officer is forced to resign because they broke the law or/and departmental policies in any other cities they would lose their pensions. Sheriff Gillespie has rewarded bad cops by given them their full pensions, retirements, and in some cases keeping them employed. Again costing tax payers.
7) The Sheriff has dozens of police officers on paid administrative leave. Some officers were on paid leave for almost two years, there has to be a cap on this as of yet there is none! We should not continue to pay for police officers to stay home.
8) The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Fiscal Affairs Committee has paid out a yearly average of $4.5 million dollars; because of civil law suits by other police officers and the public at large due to numerous offenses ranging from discrimination to wrongful death made by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers. This has been caused by the Sheriffs lack of training and the ‘shoot first asked questions later’, policies.
The Veterans In Politics International is not against more police officers patrolling our streets however we are against a leader who has proven time and time again that he is not fiscally responsible with tax payer’s money. If this legislature keeps giving him money he will forever keep knocking on the doors of tax payers asking for more.
These are just 8 ways out of many Sheriff Doug Gillespie has cost tax payers. There are hundreds of wasteful decisions he has made in his two terms as Sheriff.
In closing this Sheriff went before the Clark County Board of County Commission and the Las Vegas City Council for these bodies to support his resolution to bring before the legislature. The County Commission has a 5-2 vote and the City Council has a 6-1 vote. Sheriff Gillespie did not receive the unanimous vote he was looking for and we were unaware of the agenda items so we did not have the opportunity to testify before those two bodies.
A forensic audit is needed by an out of state independent firm; before any money is given to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department while Doug Gillespie as Sheriff!
An Interview with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Douglas Gillespie on January 28, 2012: