I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each and every one of you who supported me during the election for executive director in June. For those who didn’t support me, I’d ask that you allow me the opportunity to earn your trust, respect and support. You are all equally important to me and the entire Board of Directors. These are not just cheap words to make you feel good; I intend to prove it to you!
Our profession is facing challenges like we’ve never seen before. The 2015 Nevada Senate Bill 241, signed into law on June 1, has threatened the very existence of full-time association representatives by requiring compensation or concession to offset the cost of those carrying out association business. We have been working hard to educate elected officials, seek legal remedy and build a coalition to ensure our success with this issue when the time comes next year. I’m confident that we will find a reasonable resolution.
The “More Cops” sales tax initiative is alive and well. We desperately need more police officers, and we will be firmly supporting the Sheriff in his crusade to convince the Clark County Commission to pass an ordinance allowing for the collection of additional sales tax to fund additional police officers.
Mandatory overtime, shift adjustments for special events to avoid paying overtime, challenges with decentralization, prohibiting possession of mobile phones at CCDC, inconsistent punishment for sustained complaints, and preparing for contract negotiations are just a few of the many issues we are attempting to fix, negotiate or fight. Internally, we are busy revamping our bylaws, building an expense/travel policy, updating our technology and, most importantly, reengaging you, our membership, with surveys, more onsite visits and specifically a deeper inquiry into targeting what our membership really wants from its Association.
We have a team of professional, talented and dedicated Executive Board officers to serve you around the clock. As the new executive director, I have made it very clear to everyone on our team that we are striving to bring the LVPPA to a new level of service and professionalism. You deserve no less. Our group is composed of experienced men who have a diverse level of skill and knowledge to ensure that our goals become a reality. Our people are our biggest asset, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our lineup.
Assistant Executive Director: Police Officer Mike Ramirez
Mike has been a police officer with LVMPD for over 10 years. During his tenure with Metro, he has served as an informal patrol leader and later as a field training officer. Mike was involved in a shooting with a heinous felon that caused him to use deadly force as a resolution. He has been involved with the LVPPA for many years and is always the first one to sacrifice, volunteer and commit to any project or task necessary to ensure that our members are being served in the best P# 1809 way possible. When I asked Mike to drop his whole life and head up to Carson City to lobby on behalf of our members at the last minute, he didn’t pause to think about it; he jumped at the opportunity and served us very well. He has extensive experience in union leadership from his past employer, and currently is the owner/operator of a successful small crane business. Mike is one of the most generous people I know, and I can’t think of a better person to serve as my right-hand man.
Director of Operations: Corrections Officer Thomas Reid
Tom has been a corrections officer with LVMPD for more than 18 years. During his time at LVMPD, he performed as a SERT officer, firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor and field training officer. He became interested in and involved with the LVPPA very early in his career with Metro. He has spent over a decade as a full-release Executive Board member, and has established the best institutional knowledge and experience of LVPPA operations compared to any other. Tom has dedicated much of his time and effort to the LVMPD Health and Welfare Trust. He has served as the chairman and co-chairman of that Trust many times, and gets deep into the weeds with subcommittees, research and education regarding best practices and business models. He has recently stepped up to take on the task of learning our treasurer duties, he’s the in-house editor of our magazine, and he continues to ensure that our staff and building are operating smoothly. Tom brings not only his LVPPA experience to the table, but also his long and distinguished Marine Corps career as a lieutenant colonel. Tom is one of the most loyal people I’ve worked with, yet he’ll be the first to pull you aside and let you know when you’re screwing up. He adds a level of perspective to our group that is invaluable.
Sergeant at Arms: Police Officer Darryl Clodt
Darryl began his career with LVMPD almost 24 years ago. Prior to coming to Metro, Darryl served in the U.S. Air Force and reached the rank of senior master sergeant. Here at Metro, Darryl became a field training officer and eventually spent a long period in the Gang Unit. Later on, Darryl was selected to be a part of the Counter Terrorism Task Force, which took him to Washington, D.C., as a Metro cop to work alongside officers from other agencies. Darryl became involved with the Association several years ago and has been an Executive Board member for years. Darryl has taken on the primary responsibility of representing our Association at the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). He brings a unique personality to our Association. Additionally, Darryl is our “odds-and-ends guy.” He typically has the most diverse calendar of the week, as he helps us by ensuring that all of our appointments and meetings have coverage when we get slammed. His investigative experience and knowledge, coupled with his firearms instructor background, make him a formidable force to defend our members’ actions when called upon.
Treasurer: Corrections Officer Scott Nicholas
Scott has been a corrections officer with LVMPD for more than 15 years. During Scott’s time with Metro, he’s been a SERT officer, firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor. He served for many years as an elected representative from CCDC, and has the best knowledge of institutional issues and resolutions regarding our corrections officers and the facilities they work in. Unlike many of us, Scott began his career with LVMPD during his midlife, and I believe that gives him a unique perspective on what is fair and reasonable regarding working conditions, pay and expectations. He has served with me for many years on our contract committee and is our in-house “numbers guy.” Scott has a background and work ethic stemming from being raised on a farm and later, as an adult, hauling material and supplies via an 18-wheeler across America’s industrial complex. Scott serves as our treasurer because he has a passion for numbers and pays attention to detail.
Director of Technology: Police Officer Bryan Yant
Bryan began his career with LVMPD over 15 years ago after serving in the Marine Corps. He became a field training officer, was assigned to a Problem Solving Unit, earned his firearms instructor title and eventually was assigned to the Narcotics Bureau. He served a stint on the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Watch Desk. During Bryan’s career, he was involved in several deadly force events. He, like no other currently assigned to the LVPPA, knows about controversy when it comes to using deadly force. What may be the correct decision isn’t always the popular decision, and no one understands this better than Bryan. The events he has endured, although tragic, offer our members some insight, and what they may learn from Bryan may just save their lives or careers. Bryan also manages our day-to-day information technology regarding communication devices, computer maintenance, website maintenance and social media.
Secretary: Police Officer Steve Grammas
Steve began his career with LVMPD as a cadet in 1998 and became a police officer almost 15 years ago. During his time with Metro, he served in the Problem Solving Unit, Narcotics Bureau and various undercover assignments, and attended instructor development in order to teach at LVMPD. Steve possesses the least experience as an Executive Board member, but he has continued to learn and strive as the secretary of the Association. The role that Steve holds is very important to the LVPPA and its membership, as he is the principal person ensuring proper documentation and recordkeeping. He has a high level of energy and is a key player who always has ideas regarding enhancement of membership benefits. He continues to push the limits of our Board to “think outside of the box,” and challenges any thought of “that’s how we’ve always done things.” Steve has expressed interest in becoming a trustee on the Health and Welfare Trust and a Deferred Compensation Committee representative.
It’s no secret; we live in very challenging times. Whether collectively or individually, attacks on our profession can be expected daily. We are experiencing an unprecedented level of scrutiny and pressure regarding what many of us took for granted not so many years ago. The issues stem from a new culture of hate and disobedience toward the police, a right-wing anti-union national movement and a naïve public who feel confident that they understand your job better than you do. The LVPPA will continue to fight, win and successfully represent you individually and collectively at every angle and level related to your career. No other organization or entity has the level of experience, dedication or proven results that we at the LVPPA have. I’m proud of what the LVPPA has accomplished. I’m more confident than ever that we will continue to be successful with all of the coming challenges. We have set the stage for our success because of the people who are willing to do what it takes to bring that win home. Your Executive Board members, your Board of Directors and your fellow members need your support more than ever before as we navigate through these unchartered waters. Let’s show our Department and our community just how first-class our membership is by sticking together and supporting our cause. No one said this would be easy, and we certainly can’t do this alone. As your newly elected executive director, I’m counting on your support now more than ever!
As always, be safe.
Police Officer Mark Chaparian