I hope this issue’s presidential message finds all of our members and their families safe, happy and healthy. So much has happened in the past year. We have dealt with riots, COVID-19, attacks on our profession from politicians and even the injury and loss of some of our own.
During the riots of 2020, our officers were working more hours than they could count. They were handling nightly protests that often erupted in violence and chaos. Officers’ families sat home every night praying for the safety of their loved ones. Officers were finishing their shifts with cuts, bruises, injuries and a level of fatigue they had never experienced before. They dealt with people screaming in their faces, cursing at them and holding signs degrading their profession. And through it all, our officers maintained a level of professionalism that goes unmatched.
COVID-19 was also in full swing, as well as the rollout of the vaccine. Our officers were some of the only employees in the state who continued to be on the frontlines of the pandemic, working every day and putting themselves at high risk of exposure to the virus. Police work is one of those jobs that cannot sit on the sidelines and wait for a disease to go away. Many of our officers were exposed, and many contracted the virus. To this day, we are still dealing with grievances and negotiations over being forced to quarantine and use your own time, along with other issues related to COVID-19. I am asked often about whether officers should get the vaccine. My answer is the same every time: It is the officer’s choice, plain and simple. The same politicians who say “my body, my choice” believe you should be forced to take a vaccine. I call that being a hypocrite. If you want to take the vaccine, take it. If you do not, then don’t.
Following the George Floyd case, we began to see many politicians across the country, as well as in our own state, attack our police profession. Politicians who have never put their life on the line, or who have never stepped foot in a patrol car for a shift, began saying that police work needed to change. They claimed officers were targeting people of color and had no regard for our minority communities. These same politicians, who have been in office for many years, saying that police needed to be reformed or defunded were the same ones who passed laws to strengthen police rights only a year earlier. These politicians cared not for George Floyd, rather they only care about re-election. I stand by this position, because if police have always needed reform, why wasn’t it addressed in the 2019 session? In our state, why pass the best legislation for police officer rights that we have ever had during the 2019 session? I had conversations with politicians who supported our rights in 2019 call me saying, “Steve, my party is making me do this. I may not agree with it, but I have to.” These people are spineless and have no character. The answer is because they are disingenuous politicians who will do or say anything for a vote. We still have some amazing folks in government who support our police. The 2022 election cycle, known as the midterm elections, will be important to our profession. We must elect folks who support law and order. We need a legislative body that will support the police force in this state. And we need a governor who will stand up for what is right when it comes to our police and not just pander to a vocal minority. I pledge to our members that we will actively attack these folks when they are up for re-election.
Finally, we as a state suffered the loss and injury of two of our own. Lieutenant Erik Lloyd contracted COVID-19 and lost his fight to the disease. I knew Lloyd for many years, whether it be from Narcotics or when he was the FIT lieutenant. Lloyd was a good man, a friend and a solid leader. His loss will forever impact our community. We also saw, during the riots, our own Officer Shay Mikalonis take a bullet from a piece of garbage who had no regard for human life. I was there at the hospital the night he was shot. I was with his partners as we sat outside on the curb. I saw the impact on our heroes who helped save Mikalonis’ life. Mikalonis and his family had their lives forever changed that evening, as did our profession. Today, Mikalonis continues his fight, recovering from that incident. He will always be a police officer, no matter where he is or what he is doing. We love both of our brothers who have been impacted as a result of this profession.
My hope for 2021–2022 is that we see no more loss or injury to our officers. I hope we continue to protect our community and serve our citizens. I hope those politicians come to their senses and commend and recognize the hard work and sacrifice our officers put forth. I hope every officer stays safe and healthy and has a long career.
About two years ago, I started training with Chad Lyman. Most of our early training focused on cardio work and some stand-up striking. I remember thinking to myself on the first day, “Damn! This is hard.” Eventually, the cardio and workouts became a little easier. Let me say, Chad is a great teacher. This guy really knows how to coach and uplift you when you feel like you have no more to give.
After about six months, Chad invited me to go to Xtreme Couture to do jiu-jitsu. I had done some jiu-jitsu when I was younger but suffered an injury that made me a little apprehensive about going back. Despite that, I took Chad up on the offer.
The first class I took was a whirlwind! My cardio sucked for jiu-jitsu, and I was super lost. Chad was the lead instructor. Even in a class full of amazing grapplers, he still taught with the same energy, passion and slow, methodical approach he usually took with me. I can tell you, as a 40-year-old guy who has been strong and athletic P# 7781 his whole life, I had my butt kicked by young men, teenagers, old guys and young ladies. One class turned into two, then two into three, and now, for the last year and a half, I have been training consistently every week, getting better and better.
I don’t tell this story of my training without having a point. As confident, strong and athletic as I was when I was first hired on the Department back in 1998, I truly believe that now I would put a whooping on my younger self if we ever met.
Why is this important? I should not be in the best shape for defending myself when I am in the twilight of my career, no longer out in the field where real danger is waiting on every car stop or person stop or call for service. I should have been preparing myself way back when I started on the agency and was dealing with all the shady folks we encountered. Even more so, nowadays, MMA gyms are full of people and are everywhere in this town. The odds of an officer coming upon a suspect they intend to arrest who has some level of training is far higher now than ever before. Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world. If you think what you learned in the academy and some late DT classes or training is enough to handle a well-trained or even poorly trained suspect, you are lying to yourself.
It is not enough to be big and strong and a good “barroom brawler.” On the contrary, officers should be building their toolbox with more technique to be better able to subdue a violent or resistant attacker. I am not saying size and strength are not good. I am saying that those alone, against a fairly well-trained individual, may not be enough.
What we see today in policing, as it relates to uses of force, is a change in how the public wants to see their police force. Long gone are the days of wanting to see tough officers who can knock someone out with one punch. What they want to see is officers using what appears to be a minimal amount of force on suspects to gain compliance. I can tell you, from my training, learning to better handle and control a suspect will add longevity to your career in several ways: fewer injuries to you and the suspect, fewer documented use-of-force cases and the ability to end a close-quarter, potentially deadly force scenario without having to use deadly force.
I hope this article does not come across as “preaching”; rather, I hope it comes across as a call to action to our officers to go out and join a gym. Start training yourself and sharpening the tools in your toolbox. Several departments are actually led by chiefs and sheriffs who support a jiu-jitsu-based curriculum and even offer pay incentives for people who train. The cost to train officers in combatives and jiu-jitsu could far outweigh the cost of a lawsuit against their agency. I think we will see this more and more in the future, as young officers who train will begin to promote and take leadership spots on agencies. Those new leaders will understand the benefits of training in this world and will likely promote it. There is currently a police department in Arizona that plans to have its officers train for one hour every day, not their lunch hour, to get proficient in control techniques.
This needs to be the new norm. As long as the media and politicians see uses of force that look ugly to them, regardless if we are able to justify it or not, they will continue to attack our profession. But if we start making these encounters about control and custody in better ways because we take the time to train, it will make that narrative a little smaller.
A quote from my friend, mentor and trainer: “Go out and train a little, a lot.”
P.S. If any officer wants some time with me and Chad at the PPA, let us know and drop in. We are here to help.
In 2015, I, along with other Executive Board members, was in Washington, D.C., for the Top Cops award ceremony. It was the first time I had ever attended the ceremony, and did not know what to expect. The ceremony was really interesting. Several stories of heroic officers across the country doing what heroes do every day. The ceremony included a guest speaker, who I really did not know. The man, an older guy in a nice suit, was speaking the praises of law enforcement and his unwavering support for the police. This man was a really good speaker and showed passion and enthusiasm for police. I learned later that the man was actually part of the Obama administration. It was rather shocking to hear someone speaking so highly of police when the administration back then didn’t appear to be pro-law-enforcement due to all the consent decrees across the country, as well as the taking of equipment from police. But this man gave some hope about someone in the administration who was pro-police. When he was done speaking, the entire room stood and applauded, and I said to Bryan Yant, “I could see that guy being president one day.”
It turned out this man was the newly elected president, Joe Biden.
I look back on the speech that Joe Biden gave then, and I hope that somewhere deep down inside of him, that man is still in there. From a lot of the things we have heard, it doesn’t sound like supporting and assisting law enforcement is at the forefront of the new administration, but only time will tell.
Why do I bring up a positive speech about law enforcement from the winning candidate who we did not support? Simple, because we need to continue to move on and move forward. The president of the United States will change party to party many times over the life of the office. Sometimes, it will be a Democrat, and sometimes it will be a Republican. Heck, the smaller parties at some point could gain steam and put a candidate in the Oval Office. No matter who sits at the Resolute Desk, police work will continue and will always be a constant. No one in law enforcement can lose sight of what we are doing and why we are doing it. No one became a police officer because of who sits in the White House.
Did I want Donald Trump to win? Yes. Why? Because he showed unwavering support for law enforcement. In a time when people across the country were calling to “defund the police” and “strip away officers’ rights,” President Trump stood by us and said, “No, we need our police. Don’t be caught up in the rhetoric that all cops are bad.” But the support I gave to President Trump is support I could give to President Biden. All he needs to do is stand by our profession, outwardly and vocally. If he was the same man who gave that amazing speech, we would stand with him.
Regardless of who is our president, all of our officers need to just continue forward. Being a police officer is a non-partisan position. When we arrive on calls, our first questions aren’t “Are you hurt? Where is the bad guy? Are you Republican or Democrat?” Party lines are not a police officer’s concern. We concern ourselves with serving others and helping those who are not able to help themselves. The badge doesn’t have a donkey or an elephant engraved on it. Even our Sheriff runs on a non-partisan platform. And it needs to be that way. As I do not believe police officers have racism in their hearts and do not police communities or people based on racism, I also do not believe a police officer would or would not serve a citizen based on their political affiliation.
By the time this magazine releases, the Nevada Legislature session will be in full swing, and we will be potentially dealing with different levels of police reforms. We will see that legislation is often not about what is best for the state, rather what is best for the party. The LVPPA will be up at the session fighting any attacks on our profession and attempting to pass a few small, but important additions to your heart and lung and PTSD cases. Some of the legislators, making decisions on how police work should be done, will be passing laws without input from real police officers and listening to their own parties or caucuses about what changes need to happen. And almost every single person making these decisions will have never in their life put on a uniform and gone out and done the job of a police officer. But this is the system we have to deal with, and we know the game we have to play.
But as I said above, do not let the “why” you became a police officer change because rules to the job may change. Even at the level of the president of the United States, do not let that person change your “why.” Stay constant in the need to help the citizens of the state and the joy you feel when you are able to help a victim.
This story opened with the topic of the president speaking at a Top Cops award ceremony back in 2015 and how the PPA supported President Trump. President Trump lost. We need to accept it and work to move in a positive direction for our country, our state and our city. There is something I will continue to live by, and it is more important now than ever:
“I am not supporting the person sitting in the president’s chair at the White House. I am supporting the position of the president because if that position fails, we all fail. We must hope for the success of our president, no matter their party affiliation. This can only be done through fair legislation and bipartisan cooperation. Through this, our country will continue to be great.”
I would like to thank President Trump for his four years as president. That is not an easy job, and anyone assuming that position should be thanked. Thank you, also, for your continued support of law enforcement.
I would like to wish President Biden good luck in undertaking the office of the president. Because, as I said, if he fails, the country fails. Have a safe and healthy 2021 to all of the members of the LVPPA, as well as everyone in the law enforcement community across the country.
I wanted to open 2021 with some of the events and issues that the LVPPA will be facing this coming year.
February 1 will start the 2021 legislative session. Scott Nicholas and I will be the primary representatives at the session for the PPA, with John acting as a third arm of our approach to the session. Scott and I will be splitting the week so that one of us is always at the session and the other is still here in Vegas handling the day-to-day operations of the PPA. John will come up on occasion to fill in for Scott and me when schedules demand us both to be home. We will be hoping to pass some additions to legislation, along with fire, to increase some Heart and Lung issues as well as some PTSD issues. I assume we will also be facing several issues related to police reform. Some of the intel we are getting is that there will be more attacks on our profession, and we will be focusing our time at the session on defending against those attempts.
The PPA will also have contract negotiations for LVMPD and the City Marshals/Court Marshals group. As we are all aware, we will be dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on our economy. We will also work diligently on finding all available money, if there is any to be found, and making sure we keep our officers well compensated. These negotiations are not like our normal negotiations in the manner that we will only bargain COLA, health insurance and clothing allowance. These negotiations will be for the last two years of the current contract that we have with LVMPD. Our brothers and sisters at the City will see us undergo a total contract negotiation, as we have been working outside of contract for several months.
The PPA will also be actively negotiating all the issues surrounding COVID-19. I am hopeful that we will come to an agreed-upon resolution, but we stand ready to take the issues to an arbitrator for a final decision. Hopefully, our country begins to move toward a day where we do not need masks, social distancing or other requirements. Until then, make sure you all take care of yourselves and your family.
We also hope to be able to get back to our normal events for our members. 2020 took a toll on us all and trying to bring back the fun and entertaining things we used to do is a priority for the PPA.
As every year does, we will have plenty of fights and issues come up that we cannot prepare for. But, as usual, whenever these issues arise, we are always ready to bring the fight to anyone that we need to.
Thank you all for your continued membership and trust in the PPA. Have a great year and stay safe.
Thank goodness we are almost to the end of 2020. Of course, we should always be thankful for any time we are able to have on the right side of the dirt, but my goodness did this year really drain all of us in law enforcement.
The year started off with a rather uneventful New Year’s Eve. The PPA was out again on the Strip and downtown, supporting our officers with food, hot drinks and energy drinks while they stood guard over all the people in town trying to enjoy the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020. As the calendar turned the page, our country, our state and our city were hit with the pandemic. It didn’t matter if you believed in COVID-19 or not; the effects on our city and economy could not have been more real. As we saw the casinos and businesses close their doors, our men and women stood guard over what seemed like a ghost town. A drive down Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara to Russell and took barely five minutes. Our officers would now begin worrying, not only about armed suspects intent on hurting them, but also about an unknown perpetrator in the form of an illness that could hit without them even knowing. Several officers would get ill and be out of work. Several officers would be exposed and quarantined but eventually return to work. And then the all-too-real death of one of our brothers, Lieutenant Eric Lloyd, would hit us all like a freight train and remind us again that this illness should be taken seriously.
Then came the fears of layoffs, loss of pay and a list of issues for all employees at LVMPD. Through many conversations with Sheriff Lombardo, he pledged that not only would no layoffs happen to the commissioned side, but the department would also continue to honor its contractual commitments and still give our officers their pay raises. We were one of the very few groups that still got a raise during this time. Other groups were losing money or at best taking a zero COLA.
When we thought the worst thing we would deal with was a closed economy, the George Floyd case erupted. Protests, violence and attacks on police ensued. Police officers across the country were working with minimal rest during the protests. Many would be hit with bottles, sticks, rocks, bricks and other weapons. And then, our brother Shay was struck by a bullet while he was out doing his job. A no-good, low-life piece of garbage forever changed that young man and his family’s lives forever. That event also had a deep impact on our agency and agencies across the country.
It was at this point that our own local politicians started looking at law enforcement. But not in a way to help us. Not in a way to hold people more accountable for attacks on police. Rather, a large majority of our politicians were looking at ways to reform police and strip us of our rights that we worked so hard for during the 2019 legislative session. One person in particular, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, who championed our added protections in 2019, turned out to be the bill sponsor to strip away almost every protection she helped us get in 2019. I had many members reach and to me and say, “Steve, but you supported these very people who are attacking us now!” I have to acknowledge that we in fact did support a lot of the people who were hell-bent on coming after cops during the special sessions. During both sessions, the PPA and members of our Public Safety Alliance were in Carson City, trying to do everything we could to stop some of the attacks. In the end, we were able to make it not as bad as it could have been, but far from what we wanted or deserved. After the session, the PPA was committed to holding those very people we supported accountable. We created a political action campaign to target those who turned their backs on us. Our national group, NAPO, our Public Safety Alliance and the PPA put our support behind candidates who would support officers. We endorsed Donald Trump for president, not because he is a Republican, but because he showed tireless support for the men and women who wear the badge. We had long talks with members of the Republican Party about why we hadn’t supported many in the past and how they could get our support by helping us protect the rights and benefits that we have. We believe that the candidates we have endorsed will uphold the values that we in law enforcement hold dear. There were other law enforcement groups that still supported candidates because they were friendly in the past. Even national candidates who signed on to support bills that diminish police officers’ ability to do their jobs were supported by other groups. But PPA and PSAN, I feel, got behind the candidates that we feel best represent our members.
We purchased a bigger, more state-of-the-art, higher-occupancy callout vehicle. This vehicle will be used by the PPA for many, many years to come to keep our officers comfortable and relaxed during a time they need it most. I thank our Board of Directors for supporting you all by making these decisions. I am also pleased to say that, with the full support of the Executive Board and Board of Directors, I will be serving another four-year term as your president. The last four years were an honor that I can never fully express, and to have another four years, with the support I have received, lets me know I am doing something right. Thank you all for believing in my vision for the PPA.
Your Executive Board are the hardest-working people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. The PPA is where it is today because of the hard work and tireless dedication of Scott, Yant, Chad, BG, Hamm, John and Dan. Thank you guys for doing everything you do for our members. I also want to recognize David, Kelly, Laura, Roy, Adella and Kayleen. Without the amazing team we have assembled at the PPA, we wouldn’t be able to do half of what we do now. Thank you all as well.
To all our members, I know this was a crazy year and I know there are so many more things that I could have mentioned in this article, but with the holidays approaching, remember to take care of yourselves and your families. Your stress because of the job is shared at home by your loved ones. Remember to spend time with them, and hug and kiss your children. Take your spouse or significant other out for a nice evening. This job will always be here. Crime isn’t going away. But the days you are able to spend with your family will fly by. Take a family vacation and make memories with the ones you love. To my girls, Madison, Annabelle, Sophia and Olivia, I love you more than you will ever know. To my wonderful wife, Tiffany, who puts up with every callout, phone call and political event, as well as the times when I am away from the family for several days, I love you. Also, to all the patrol officers, when a dispatcher sends a message to you that says, “Good morning, have a safe shift,” it is my wife. She is an amazing dispatcher, a great wife and an amazing mom.
Merry Christmas to everyone and have a wonderful new year. Stay safe.
By the time this edition of Vegas Beat is published, it will be about four years since I took over as the president of the LVPPA. When they say “time goes fast,” they mean it. That expression really hit home when I sat down and thought about how quickly these last four years have gone by. I can distinctly remember asking both our Board of Directors and Executive Board at the time for their support. As I look back, everything that our group has accomplished has been such a team effort between the Executive Board and Board of Directors as well as our members.
I can’t say enough how amazing our Executive Board is; their work ethic, drive and commitment to our officers has been and continues to be incredible. Every person who has been on this Executive Board has never batted an eye when I asked them to do more than we have ever done, be available, and plan and participate in our events. I am so proud of where we have been and what we have done. I also need to recognize our office staff. Laura, Roy, Adella and Kayleen constantly deal with changing directions, new tasks and new events along with their normal day-to-day operations. They are the most amazing staff any organization could ask for, and we would not be where we are without them. There is also a huge thank-you that needs to be extended to your elected Board of Directors. For those who may not be aware, the LVPPA is directed and driven by the Board of Directors. They have the ultimate authority over the decisions of both the membership and the Executive Board. They often take a lot of criticism at their respective areas, but they continue to stay committed to the task of representing their area officers. These folks take their role very seriously, and I can tell you they represent you well.
In the last four years, we have had life-altering events (1 October and the protests). We have lost friends and co-workers, and we have been attacked by people who have never put their lives on the line for a human being they have never met. I have been on this agency since 1998 — 22 years — and the evolution of police work is something I don’t think I could have ever contemplated. Every nuance of an officer’s day is dissected, picked apart and Monday-morning quarterbacked in every way possible. Yet, despite this, all of our folks still go out and bust their butts and put their lives on the line for our community, because we all know, in the end, we do this job for the citizens who want to feel safe and secure. We don’t do it for praise or recognition. You have to love police work and helping others to do this job. I have loved this job since the day I started, and as my assignments changed, I continued to love the work we do.
The last four years as the president of the LVPPA have been the most rewarding times in my entire career. I will again ask the membership to support me as president for a second term in October, and I hope, with your support, that we can do even more than we have been able to do over the last four years. Thank you all, and stay safe.
In our time with this Department, we have had many situations where officers have been terminated for various issues. For most of these incidents, the PPA has great arguments to make against termination. In other cases, the facts surrounding the allegations make it nearly impossible for us to fight a case in arbitration. This article is going to focus on “truthfulness required at all times” and “falsifying a legal document or information in CAD.”
As a refresher for all of our members, the newest version of the discipline matrix was a negotiated item that the Department and the PPA worked on, and is considered the ruling law of the land. In the matrix, we have two different examples of truthfulness, and I will cover both.
Matrix letter E — 4/101.19 Truthfulness Required at all Times
Discipline levels for this offense:
These types of offenses for this category would be lying to your supervisor outside of an official IAB investigation.
Matrix letter H — 4/101.19 Truthfulness Required at all Times
Employee formally noticed of official investigations conducted by the Department who is found to be untruthful during the investigations, or who are found to be untruthful in completing official Department documents.
Discipline levels for this offense:
I can tell you that the “baby” truthfulness is very rarely applied and very rarely used. More often than not, it is the second truthfulness that we see applied. Some of the confusion relates to the “who are found to be untruthful in completing official Department documents.” Here is a list of things that are, or could be, considered official Department documents:
Cell check logs
These are the most common documents that officers have put false information on. I want to make clear how a few of these could be the major truthfulness.
CAD: calling out a stop that did not occur. Putting yourself out at lunch at one location, but actually being at another. Saying you are en route to lunch, but you’re actually already sitting inside eating to extend your lunch hour. Putting in CAD notes that are false.
At CCDC, the biggest issue we see is when an officer writes on the log that they did their checks, but video shows they actually did not do the check.
These issues may sound small and petty, but the Department views it as major levels of truthfulness and has attempted and/or succeeded in firing officers.
The biggest thing I want to impress upon our officers in this article is this: be honest. If it is your lunch hour and you are at someone’s house having “lunch,” just put that address! If someone finds out you were doing more than eating, odds are it will be a low-level discipline, if you’re found to be doing something you should not be doing. But if you put a ghost address and your sergeant goes crawling through the neighborhood to find you checked-out at a different address, then they will try to fire you. If you forgot to do your checks on the modules at CCDC, don’t fabricate the log. Take your lumps or explain why and move on.
The truth is, you have to do some pretty messed up stuff to get fired at this agency. We need all the employees we can. By being honest, you’re far more likely to come out of an incident over being dishonest. Remember, the profession we work in and the city we live in has video running 24 hours a day, and we should always operate under the thought that whatever we are doing has some form of filming tied to it. If we remember that, then we won’t ever think we can do something and get away with it.
I hope this article really helps our membership and aids you in having a long and successful career.
The month of May is dedicated to paying our respects to our fallen law enforcement officers. This year, ceremonies around the country have had to be canceled in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including all of the National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. But although we cannot gather together with our brothers and sisters right now, we remain united in spirit as we remember the far too many brave and dedicated officers we have lost.
On May 13, there will be a virtual candlelight vigil held online that can be watched from anywhere in the world, during which the names being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will be read. Once this crisis has passed and the future becomes more certain, I hope we’ll be able to make up for the events we missed and properly memorialize all those who made the ultimate sacrifice last year. But for now, please review the following list of 146 officers who gave their lives in the line of duty in 2019, honor their names, and keep their families in your thoughts and prayers. These heroes will be forever missed and never forgotten. RIP to all.
2019 Line-of-Duty Deaths*
Master Police Officer
Joseph William Shinners
Provo P.D., UT
EOW: Saturday, January 5, 2019
Dale James Woods
Colerain Township P.D., OH
EOW: Monday, January 7, 2019
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Clayton Joel Townsend
Salt River P.D., TR
EOW: Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Chatéri Alyse Payne
Shreveport P.D., LA
EOW: Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Natalie Becky Corona
Davis P.D., CA
EOW: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Christopher James Lambert
IL State Police
EOW: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Cause: Vehicular assault
WyTasha Lamar Carter
Birmingham P.D., AL
EOW: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Norman D. Merkel U.S. Marshals Service
EOW: Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Cause: Heart attack
Ray Elwin Horn III
Comal County S.O., TX
EOW: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Cause: Heart attack
Police Officer Kenneth
New York City P.D., NY
EOW: Saturday, January 19, 2019
Cause: 9/11-related illness
Sean Paul Tuder
Mobile P.D., AL
EOW: Sunday, January 20, 2019
Robert Earl “Bo” McCallister
Susquehanna Township P.D., PA
EOW: Sunday, January 20, 2019
Detective Joseph M. Roman
New York City P.D., NY
EOW: Monday, January 28, 2019
Cause: 9/11-related illness
Joshua Bryan “LJ” Ryer Jr. Glascock County S.O., GA
EOW: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Cause: Automobile crash
Community Supervision Officer Russell Dean Salazar Kendall County Community Supervision and Corrections Dept., TX
EOW: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Cause: Automobile crash
Shane Michael Totty
Baton Rouge P.D., LA
EOW: Friday, February 1, 2019
Cause: Motorcycle crash
William Lee Brewer Jr.
Clermont County S.O., OH
EOW: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Border Patrol Agent
Donna Marie Doss
U.S. Border Patrol
EOW: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Trooper Lucas Bartley Dowell
VA State Police
EOW: Monday, February 4, 2019
Matthew John Rittner
Milwaukee P.D., WI
EOW: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Detective Brian P. Simonsen
New York City P.D., NY
EOW: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Cause: Gunfire (inadvertent)
Chief of Police
David Paul Hewitt
Rising Sun P.D., IN
EOW: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Cause: Automobile crash
Agent Alfred Sanyet-Pérez
Puerto Rico P.D., PR
EOW: Friday, February 15, 2019
Steven Gaspare Greco
Miccosukee Tribal P.D., TR
EOW: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Cause: Vehicular assault
Daniel Duane Hinton
FL Highway Patrol
EOW: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Cause: Heart attack
Monty Thomas Johnson
Pawnee County S.O., OK
EOW: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Cause: Automobile crash
Sergeant Brian Keith Crain
Jenks P.D., OK
EOW: Saturday, February 23, 2019
Cause: Heart attack
Nicholas Scott Galinger
Chattanooga P.D., TN
EOW: Sunday, February 24, 2019
Cause: Vehicular assault
Sergeant Steven Billie Hinkle
Sullivan County S.O., TN
EOW: Tuesday, February 26, 2019
I wanted to take the opportunity to educate many of our officers on their rights as it relates to their employment with the LVMPD. The LVPPA has gone to great lengths to enhance the rights of police officers. A large number of these changes may not even be known to your supervision. Below is a list of the rights you have that we added during the 2019 legislative session.
Chapter 289 of NRS is hereby amended by adding thereto a new section to read as follows: If a law enforcement agency suspends a peace officer without pay pending the outcome of a criminal prosecution, the law enforcement agency shall award the peace officer back pay for the duration of the suspension if the charges against the peace officer are dismissed, the peace officer is found not guilty at trial or the peace officer is not subjected to punitive action in connection with the alleged misconduct.
If a peace officer requests representation while being questioned by a superior officer on any matter that the peace officer reasonably believes could result in punitive action, the questioning must cease immediately and the peace officer must be allowed a reasonable opportunity to arrange for the presence and assistance of a representative before the questioning may resume.
The above section is related to a federal case, NLRB v. Weingarten. We attached the same rights to NRS 289 as in Weingarten. The important factor is if the officer, not the supervisor, believes discipline could arise from the questioning, then you are entitled to a representative.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, any statement a peace officer is compelled to make pursuant to this chapter shall not be disclosed or used in a civil case against the peace officer without the consent of the peace officer. Such a statement may be used in an administrative hearing or civil case regarding the employment of the peace officer. In a civil case, the court may review the statement in camera to determine whether the statement is inconsistent with the testimony of the peace officer and release any inconsistent statement to the opposing party for purposes of impeachment.
A law enforcement agency shall not conduct an investigation pursuant to this subsection if the activities of the peace officer occurred more than one year from the date of the filing of a complaint or allegation with the law enforcement agency unless the alleged misconduct would be a crime punishable pursuant to state or federal law.
If the law enforcement agency concludes that the peace officer did not violate a statute, policy, rule or regulation, the law enforcement agency shall not reopen the investigation unless the law enforcement agency discovers new material evidence related to the matter.
Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, a law enforcement agency shall not reassign a peace officer temporarily or permanently without his or her consent during or pursuant to an investigation conducted pursuant to this section or when there is a hearing relating to such an investigation that is pending.
A law enforcement agency may reassign a peace officer temporarily or permanently without his or her consent during or pursuant to an investigation conducted pursuant to this section or when there is a hearing relating to such an investigation that is pending if the law enforcement agency finds, based on specific facts or circumstances, that reassignment of the peace officer is necessary to maintain the efficient operation of the law enforcement agency.
The law enforcement agency conducting the interview, interrogation or hearing shall allow a representative of the peace officer to inspect the following if related to the investigation and in the possession of the law enforcement agency: physical evidence, audio recordings, photographs and video recordings, and statements made by or attributed to the peace officer.
The above rights are straight out of Senate Bill 242 from the 2019 legislative session. These are very important rights, and you should have them somewhere close to you in case you find yourself in a position where you need to exercise these rights.
If you have any questions regarding these rights, please reach out. Stay safe.
I hope everyone has had a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. I want to focus this article on the topic of representation for members, consistent with the Bylaws. We have members who may be unfamiliar with the rules of representation as it pertains to membership status.
Bylaw 9 — Representation
9.01 Employees shall be entitled to representation in the following situations and forums:
Members of the bargaining unit covered by the Las Vegas Police Protective Association-Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Collective Bargaining Agreement or the bargaining unit covered by the City of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Police Protective Association Metro, Inc. Detention & Enforcement Marshals and Municipal Court Marshals Labor Contract are entitled upon request and assuming the Board finds the matter meritorious, to representation in grievances, appeals and before boards described in the above collective bargaining agreements and in the policy and procedure manuals that cover employees of the above bargaining units whether or not they are dues paying members of this Association.
To be entitled to free representation, including legal representation, a member of the above bargaining units must be a dues paying member of the Association at all of the following times:
At the time of an incident leading to an investigation
At the time the officer is formally notified that an investigation is going to be conducted
Throughout the course of the investigation, the resulting discipline and the disciplinary appeal (excluding involuntary leaves without pay such as when placed on administrative leave without pay or during the period of time between termination and arbitration in which an officer would not be paying dues).
As to other matters, i.e. contractual disputes, the member of the bargaining unit must be a dues paying member at the time the dispute arose and at the time of the grievance and any resulting appeal.
This portion of the Bylaws is extremely important. What this says, in a nutshell, is that you must be a member when an incident occurred, a member when the interview occurs and a member when the discipline board or grievance process starts and finalizes. We often get officers who find out they have a complaint against them and then attempt to join the PPA before they are interviewed, but we have to decline representation.
When an officer drops the PPA but has something that occurred while they were a member, we also have to decline representing them. Our Bylaws do not allow for us to bend on this topic. Even on the scene of an OIS, we have had officers ask to pay to join immediately, but we are not allowed to let that happen.
The way to look at the PPA is workplace insurance. You cannot get into a car accident and then pay a car insurance company to cover your vehicle and pay for the accident. The PPA is the exact same. Like car insurance, most people will never use it. But when you need it, you are sure glad it is there. For any officer to benefit from our assistance, you must meet the listed criteria in Bylaw 9.
As always, stay safe and have a great 2020. If you ever have any questions, please reach out to myself or any Executive Board member 24/7.