Valley businesses learn ways to respond to high-risk, active shooter situations

An active assailant causing a mass casualty crisis is something that can happen anytime, anywhere.

June is national safety month, so local businesses are learning ways to effectively respond to those types of situations.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon Thursday to give businesses a chance to hear tips on how to create a culture of security and what to do in a high-risk situation.

“Unfortunately, in our country, we’ve seen active shooters play a role in providing tragedy in communities,” said Thomas McClain, the director of operations for Help of Southern Nevada.

Cristen Drummond: “If there was an active shooter you wouldn’t know what to do?”
Richard Espinoza, resident life coordinator for the Art Institute of Las Vegas: “No, no we have had like certain training that’s through HR.”

On Thursday, some people in the community took time to listen to better ways to make their businesses and organizations safe.

“We have any time on campus anywhere; from 200 to 250 on campus,” McClain said. “We want to take care of our staff. We want to take care of our clients.”

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1 October investigators bond with Golden Knights

A special group of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigators is on pins and needles for Thursday night’s Vegas Golden Knights game.

Since 1 October the group of seven detectives has bonded and healed because of the Knights.

“Honestly, besides work, it’s all we talk about is the Knights,” said Marc Colon, an LVMPD detective.

The officers laugh and cheer together at the games, something they weren’t sure they’d ever do again.

“Most of us were working 18-20 hours a day and when the Golden Knights started playing. It just became our distraction,” said Trever Alsup, an LVMPD detective.

These men rushed straight to the concert grounds after the mass shooting. They barely saw their families, their beds, just days of bloodshed. They had no idea, less than two weeks after the massacre, moments before a Golden Knights home game, everything would change.

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Clark County Schools Address Safety After Florida Shooting

In light of the Florida shooting, we are reminded that the safety of our children is a top priority. School safety concerns can be addressed to school staff members, police or anonymously through the Safe Voice application at safevoicenv.org or at (833) 216-SAFE.


In this frame grab from video provided by WPLG-TV, students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., evacuate the school following a shooting, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (WPLG-TV via AP)

Citing Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, Clark County School District Police today sent out email and phone alerts to parents outlining security measures in place in case of a critical incident.

“Safety is a team effort, and parents and students are often our best source for reporting suspicious instances or inappropriate behavior,” School District Police Capt. Ken Young said.

The district has a plan to address “all types of emergencies” on Clark County campuses, Young said. Precautions include keeping classroom doors locked at all times and having a single point of entry at schools to monitor who enters, he said.

Additional safety measures also are being implemented, such as “a system that will allow staff members to initiate hard lockdowns for the entire school from their classroom,” Young said.

Students and staff participate in monthly safety drills, and staff members are required to view emergency training videos yearly, Young said. School District Police train with other law enforcement agencies across the valley to prepare for emergencies.

At least one officer is assigned to each high school in the valley, and officers also patrol elementary and middle schools, Young said. Local agencies monitor rural schools.

Safety concerns can be addressed to school staff members, police, or anonymously through the Safe Voice application at safevoicenv.org or at 833-216-SAFE, Young said.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for stricter gun control, there have been 290 reported shootings at U.S. schools since 2013.

That year, a boy shot and killed his math teacher and wounded two students at a Sparks middle school before taking his own life.

A woman and her 11-year-old daughter escaped injury in July when a carjacking suspect followed them and shot at their vehicle at UNLV, authorities said.

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LV Court Celebrates Graduation of Five Youth Offender Court

Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Cedric Kerns will celebrate the graduation of five Youth Offender Court participants on Thursday, February 15, at 3 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, located at 495 S. Main Street.

Las Vegas Municipal Court’s Youth Offender Court (Y.O. Court) is a specialized program that was created by Judge Kerns and focuses on offenders between the ages of 18-24-years old and their families. These young people and their families find their way into the court system while suffering with addiction issues.

These Y.O. Court graduates have completed an 18-month program. During this time, they have secured employment as well as reunited with their estranged families. They have obtained their GED/diploma’s, completed drug counseling, educational classes and maintain their commitment to their sobriety to become productive members of the Las Vegas community.

Parking is located across the street at the City Hall parking garage at 500 S. Main Street, and parking validation will be available at the entrance of Council Chambers on the second floor.
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Gunman Confessed to Florida High School Shooting, Police Say

Our hearts are heavy this morning as we continue to learn more about the tragedy that unfolded in Florida yesterday. May the families, friends and colleagues of the victims find peace during this difficult time.


A vigil was held Thursday for the victims of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Police say an Uber car dropped off Nikolas Cruz at his former school around 2:19 p.m. on Wednesday.

Within 10 minutes, authorities say he gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and left campus undetected in a crowd of students.

Now, as the 19-year-old gunman begins his journey through the criminal justice system, a community is in mourning and investigators are looking for answers.

What we know about the shooter

The Sheriff’s Office identified the 17 victims Thursday afternoon. As he read the names, the Sheriff Scott Israel acknowledged his “special friend,” the school’s assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who threw himself in front of students as bullets flew.

Cruz confessed to police to being the gunman, according to a probable cause affidavit. His public defender described him as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” young man who is coming to grips with the pain he has caused.

“He’s gone through a lot in a very short period of time and that does not minimize the loss of those families, but we have to put that into the proper light,” Gordon Weekes said. “He is suffering from significant mental illness and significant trauma and he has some very difficult decisions to make shortly and we’re going to assist him with those decisions.”

Meanwhile, Cruz’s digital footprint offers disturbing glimpses into his mind.

He hurled slurs at blacks and Muslims, and according to the Anti-Defamation League, had ties to white supremacists. He said he would shoot people with his AR-15 and singled out police and anti-fascist protesters as deserving of his vengeance.

How to help victims of the Florida school shooting

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Device Can Automatically Activate Body Cameras

As body cameras become more widely used across the United States, different companies are working on ways to improve the technology.

That includes a smart body camera system which automatically turns the camera on when a police officer pulls out his or her gun.

An issue police departments are seeing with body-worn cameras is an inconsistency in when they are activated during a call.

One company is trying to make that into a more automated process.

More and more officers, including in the Las Vegas valley, are wearing body cameras. They provide a wealth of information, but sometimes officers fail to activate them during a crucial event.

“A lot of times, the officers don’t know if the situation is going to progress to a more aggressive situation,” said Terry O’Shea, chief technology officer, Safariland.

Police equipment manufacturer Safariland is showing off its connected activated system, including a smart holster that automatically turns on an officer’s body camera and notifies dispatchers during a potential use of force situation.

The whole idea behind this is to make the officer’s job as easy as possible so the officer doesn’t have to think about turning on the camera when deploying his or her weapon.

“When the weapon’s withdrawn from the holster, the blue light comes on, that indicates that the message has been sent out,” O’Shea said.

A noteable example in Las Vegas of when a body camera was not activated was when Seattle Seahawks star Michael Bennett was briefly detained by Metro police last August after running from the Cromwell during what was — at the time — being investigated as a possible active shooter situation.

Bennett said as he was on the ground, an officer threatened to “blow his head off. ”

At the time, Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the arresting officer had his gun out, but his camera was not rolling.

The new holster system would have activated his camera as well as those of all the officers around him.

Several departments in Florida are already using this technology and Safariland says the New York Police Department is also a customer.

The smart holster also has sensors like those in your cell phone that can detect sudden movements.

Safariland is working with its partners on a “tussle mode” a software update that would automatically start the body camera if an officer wrestles with an aggressor.

The cameras also have a pre-roll function which stores up to three minutes worth of video showing what happened leading up to when an officer starts the recorder.

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Police: 2018 Brings Dramatic Increase in Burglaries

Las Vegas police said in the first two weeks of 2018, there’s been a dramatic increase in home burglaries and many of them could have been prevented.

A post made to the Northwest Area Command’s Facebook page reads:

Northwest Residents: In the first 2 weeks of 2018 we are seeing a dramatic increase in Residential Home Burglaries. What’s even more alarming is that over 30% of them are occurring in homes where “No Force” is being used to make entry (i.e. – doors unlocked, windows left open, etc). So a good amount of them could have been prevented.

It seems obvious, but break-in victims said they often don’t think about making sure every window, door, or garage door is locked.

“I check all the windows every morning. It’s routine,” said Kevin Banali whose home was burglarized near Summerlin last month.

Banali said the crooks likely broke in through an open garage door which gave them access to a laundry room window.

They stole jewelry and cash from Banali, but police warn in many cases burglars are after guns.

Home security tips from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department can be found here.

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Las Vegas Police Officers Recognized for Helping Young Girls After Crash

Two Las Vegas police officers were recognized Jan. 16 for helping two girls who were badly injured during a crash.

Officers Troy Benson and Chris Kohntopp found 5 people injured during the incident.

Two girls were reportedly ejected from the vehicle involved in the crash. A 14-year-old girl had a head injury and the 12-year-old girl was suffering from a partial amputation.

Officer Benson applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

They were recognized during a meeting of the Clark County Commission Tuesday.

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