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$785M budget for Las Vegas police gets tentative approval

Updated February 27, 2023 - 4:14 pm

The Metropolitan Police Committee on Fiscal Affairs approved a tentative $785 million budget for the department Monday, a nearly 10 percent increase over last year.

In a meeting last week, Clark County commissioners tentatively approved paying $323 million to the department, and the city of Las Vegas is expected to pay $169 million. The rest of the money will come from property taxes, revenue and a contract with the Clark County Department of Aviation for the officers stationed at the airport, according to the tentative budget documents posted Monday.

The budget showed the department requested $12 million to replace several pieces of technology and equipment, including a $500,000 SWAT vehicle, $29,000 for a motorcycle and $120,000 for a walk-in freezer in the evidence vault.

Richard Hoggan, Metro’s chief financial officer, told the committee they were requesting money for 23 civilian positions, worth $3 million, and six officer positions, worth $1.3 million. Ten of the 23 civilian positions were designated for cadets, employees between 18 and 21 who are trained in radio communication and writing reports.

Cadets are guaranteed a position in the academy after they turn 21, Hoggan said.

“The cadet positions have proven to be a bright spot in our recruiting efforts,” he said Monday. “These are people that we have a direct line on them becoming police officers. We’ve had a lot of interest in this program.”

Metro plans to spend $3 million to replace radios, some of which have not been replaced since a 2015 department-wide overhaul. Another $400,000 will go toward new uniforms.

Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said he is requesting five wellness bureau positions.

McMahill recently visited other departments across the country to look at their wellness bureau and spoke to one of the founders of Voices Center for Resilience, a non-profit that helps communities recover from traumatic events and provides long-term support for 9/11 survivors.

“Events like 1 October are going to manifest themselves in horrible ways within our officers a year, five years, 10 years and, in the case of 9/11, even 20 years later,” he said.

McMahill said he surveyed more than 3,400 officers at Metro about wellness and is reviewing the 360 pages of material they provided before making concrete decisions on what the bureau will look like.

Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, who is part of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs, asked McMahill if he felt he needed more than five positions, which the sheriff declined for now.

“I totally support this,” Naft said during the committee meeting Monday. “I think it’s great. I think it’s going to help long-term, not just the mental health but also recruitment and everything else that goes into the challenges the department is facing.”

Metro’s fiscal year matches the calendar year. The final budget is expected to be approved during the committee’s April meeting.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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