Sheriff Doug Gillespie made his monthly radio appearance Wednesday on "Heidi Harris in the Morning" on KDWN 720-AM.
It was one of Gillespie's first interviews after his landslide primary victory. He snagged almost 70 percent of the vote in the June 8 primary and will face Laurie Bisch, a Metro patrol officer who ran against him in 2006, in the general election in November.
The sheriff discussed local crime and politics with conservative radio talk show host Harris, and he fielded questions from callers.
There were no questions about the recent officer involved shooting in which a detective shot and killed an unarmed man while serving a search warrant for drugs.
However, Harris joked about not wanting to make "a furtive movement" in front of Gillespie -- the same language the detective used in his justification of the shooting. Gillespie plowed through the comment and continued to address a caller's question about proper etiquette during a traffic stop.
Harris questioned Gillespie about the Police Department's tactics for investigating a disturbance call involving the home of Walt Churchill, the 72-year-old Las Vegas resident who said police handcuffed him after unlawfully entering his home around 3 a.m. on June 14. The case had been reported in Wednesday's edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
It turned out an unidentified woman called 911 from a cell phone, which records showed the number listed as Churchill's address. The phone belonged to a relative in North Las Vegas who had lost the phone the day before, according to authorities. Police said Churchill was handcuffed for being combative and refusing to consent to a search of his home.
"It's important that when we get these types of calls that we find out what's going on inside the home because whoever meets us at the door isn't necessarily telling us the truth," Gillespie said. "If the officers would just leave and somebody was injured in the home, just think of the repercussions of that, not to mention that we didn't follow through on what we should have followed through on."
Land lines can cause just as much trouble, he added.
"We've also had situations where it's a hard line where a 911 call is traced back to a different address, and we went to the wrong home," he said. "In situations like that, let's not jump to conclusions. Let's look at the totality of the circumstances and the difficult decisions these officers have to make out there."
Harris also asked Gillespie about his views regarding illegal immigration and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tactics for dealing with illegals in Arizona.
"The federal system, from what I see, doesn't have the ability to handle the volume," Gillespie said. "Right now our detention facilities are overcrowded. all across America you have police chiefs and sheriffs arguing back and forth about how to best deal with the immigration issue."
He added that he recently visited Arpaio's "tent city," an extension of the Maricopa County Jail that houses about 10 percent of the jail population and aims to promote a cost-effect way to prevent overcrowding.
"It works well in their proximity, but it wouldn't work for us," Gillespie said.
Contact Kristi Jourdan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0279.