Pure Ignorance on Full Display


Scott Nicholas
Vice President

I feel like it’s my duty to inform the membership that my position as vice president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association was threatened by an uninformed Captain Teel from CCDC. Apparently, the same person who was too busy critiquing my job performance for my members forgot to educate himself on labor laws (interfering with union business) and didn’t even bother to take the time to read the negotiated collective bargaining agreement. It’s hard to imagine that someone who threatened another person’s career and wants to remove me from all the years of hard work I’ve put into protecting the officers at LVMPD didn’t take five minutes to read the CBA. Let me give you all a little backstory.

A few months back, I represented an officer who was facing discipline for failing to find a knife that the suspect had hidden in his crotch under his testicles. The officer who was working inside the booking area, and the fifth officer to have contact with the suspect, noticed a drawstring on the pants worn by the suspect. Because of his alertness, the officer immediately escorted the suspect behind the temporary curtain and had the man change into jail clothing. The suspect was very compliant and acted very natural during the clothing exchange. 

Once this now visual search was completed and the suspect was placed into waist restraints (belly chains), the suspect was taken to the very last line of defense. Pay attention — I said the very last line of defense, which for some odd and negligent reason is located inside of the secured facility of CCDC. That defense is the body scanning system that basically X-rays the suspects for weapons, drugs and other contraband that is typically missed during normal pat-searching procedures. Now, ask yourself, why would the most effective and efficient tool be on the inside of the building where we are trying to protect the safety of staff?

To this day, no one has answered this question, but I can reassure you all that I asked that very question and challenged the internal affairs team investigating the five officers to ask that same question to the chain of command at CCDC.

Think about this, does TSA wait until you get on the plane to have you go through a body scanner or metal detector? Of course not! So why does Captain Teel criticize my comments to internal affairs that the machine should be placed outside of the secured area of CCDC? Maybe Teel just doesn’t like to be challenged by common sense questions, and maybe he was too busy to figure out for himself. Or, maybe, he feels good about five officers receiving discipline for missing the knife instead of helping them succeed at their jobs. (Monday morning quarterbacks are the best at what they do.) It is truly disgusting that nothing has been done about the obvious solutions to aid all of our officers and keep our officers, staff and even the inmates safe inside of the secured area of CCDC.

Maybe Captain Teel was only concerned that the Captain’s Discipline Review board lowered the discipline from an eight-hour suspension to a written reprimand because they agreed with me and not him? We may never know, but Teel’s comments to our office employee that “Scott has lost touch” and that “Scott is causing a safety issue for the staff at CCDC” because of how I represented my officer at internal affairs shows his unwillingness to do anything that takes an open mind, no matter what the circumstances are, just as long as he gets his own way, even when he is proven he was wrong from the start.

One last thing I want to leave you all with is that during Captain Teel’s rant, he also threatened Officer Hamm’s position at the PPA by stating that he was going to have the chief remove Officer Hamm, simply because Hamm was my partner, and in Teel’s words, “he has been gone too long too.” Wow! That’s exactly why we have unions and conduct union business. We make sure that ignorance doesn’t get in the way of common sense, and you need to have the ability to keep an open mind while conducting business with the other side. 

Great job, sir! Maybe you should listen to the people who actually do the job instead of relying on your memory from 20 years ago when you first promoted away from the decks and booking. You are too far removed, in my opinion.

If you are planning on becoming a captain (or you already are one), take some time to read all three CBAs. It might keep you from being sued in the future.