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Henderson police officer charged in 2022 hit-and-run retires

A former Henderson police union president retired last week, more than a year after a hit-and-run where the officer struck an 18-year-old riding a motorcycle.

In October 2022, Gary Hargis drove an SUV and struck Kevin Dammers near Greenway Road and Van Wagenen Street. According to a police report, Hargis drove from the scene of the crash that left Dammers with an ankle injury.

On Jan. 17, Hargis retired from the department, according to the city of Henderson.

The Clark County district attorney’s office declined to charge Hargis with felony hit-and-run. In May, Hargis pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count in Henderson Municipal Court of failing to remain at the scene of a crash.

A judge ordered Hargis to complete 24 hours of community service, participate in a victim impact panel and pay a $640 fine.

Hargis returned to work in an administrative capacity in May but was placed on administrative leave in June, according to the city.

The Henderson Police Department said in an email that in August, Chief Hollie Chadwick recommended Hargis be terminated after a review of an internal affairs investigation.

Hargis remained employed by the city until his retirement but was on administrative leave.

When reached by phone Tuesday, Hargis hung up after a reporter identified themselves as calling from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

About 20 minutes later, Andrew Regenbaum, executive director for the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, called to explain that Hargis was unable to speak because he was out of state tending to a personal matter.

Regenbaum said Hargis retired for personal reasons and remained employed because he fought Chadwick’s recommendation, per his rights under the collective bargaining agreement.

Walter Zeron, a spokesperson for the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada, said in an email that Hargis’ benefits would not be affected.

“Separation from one’s employer, regardless of the type of separation (resignation versus termination, etc.), is a separate and distinct act from the act of applying for retirement under the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada,” Zeron said.

Hargis began working for the department in August 2000. According to Henderson police salary data, as of July, Hargis was being paid $114,667 a year.

Requests for public records related to Hargis’ internal affairs investigation were not provided by the city as of Friday. The city estimated records would be returned by March and June.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Briana Erickson contributed to this report.

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