weather icon Clear

Security service lapses at Las Vegas Valley public housing complexes

Updated March 1, 2019 - 9:00 pm

Fourteen public housing developments in the Las Vegas Valley have gone without security service for the past three months.

Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority commissioners expect to procure a new security firm next month, the third hired in as many years. The housing projects serve senior citizens and low-income families.

A vote to approve the contract was delayed Thursday because Crimeless Security Inc., the firm selected to take over, did not have an official present at the commission meeting.

The lapse in service has concerned residents at James Down Towers, a multistory complex for seniors on Alta Drive near Decatur Boulevard.

“A lot of them are in wheelchairs. A lot of them use walkers,” said resident Byron Jackson, 63. “How could they possibly protect themselves from an intruder?”

Jackson said he frequently spots drug dealers, prostitutes and homeless people entering the complex at night through a propped-open back door. In December, vandals broke into cars and slashed tires in the complex’s parking lot, according to Jackson and other residents.

Las Vegas police dispatch logs show officers have been called to James Down Towers at least 29 times since the commission cut ties with its last security firm on Dec. 6.

A five-year, $2 million contract with Triton Security was terminated after less than a year, housing authority Executive Director Chad Williams said.

“We had some, I would say … inappropriate activities from some of their security guards, and I’ll just leave it at that,” Williams said.

Guards were not completing security reports and not submitting data on all their activities, he added.

The company also overbilled the housing authority for services, but the authority’s finance department caught the discrepancies, Williams said.

Triton Security President Shane Rowley did not respond to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s requests for comment Friday.

The firm received about $354,000 for the 11 months its contract lasted, according to the housing authority.

New firm selected

The housing authority board plans to approve a contract with Crimeless Security Inc. next month, Chairman Scott Black said.

The meeting date has not been announced, but documents show the proposed contract is for $2 million over five years.

The number of armed and unarmed security guards patrolling public housing will be increased, Crimeless Security Inc. President and CEO Leroy Murray Jr. said.

The firm, which opened in 2002, has guards working at Nellis Air Force Base and the Nevada Supreme Court building in Las Vegas, Murray said. He and other executives at Crimeless Security provided security for the housing authority about a decade ago while working at another company.

“We know exactly what each and every one of those properties needs for security,” he said.

Armed officers will wear a bulletproof vest and carry a handgun, pepper spray, baton and handcuffs. The company requires armed guards to take weapons training twice a year, Murray said.

“They’re not going to be walking around with equipment they don’t know how to use,” he said.

Black said hiring a new firm has taken months because the housing authority had to bid the contract and then evaluate which firm was best prepared for the job.

“There’s a trade-off,” he said. “You hire somebody immediately so we don’t have a gap of security and you might be back in the same position where they’re inadequate, so we erred on the side of caution.”

What days and times the new guards will patrol public housing is still being finalized. However, housing authority procurement manager Johnny Shaw said he expects Crimeless Security’s schedule will be similar to Triton Security’s.

Under the old contract, none of the authority’s public housing developments received security every night, and five had no security detail at all.

That worries Jackson, who said James Down Towers only had overnight security on Fridays through Sundays.

“Why would you only have security on the weekends?” he said. “Crime don’t stop. Whatever people are doing it doesn’t stop because it’s the weekdays.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Clark County official presses Metro for answers about ICE cooperation

While Clark County Commissioners approved 40 supplemental positions for two understaffed jails Tuesday, Commissioner Justin Jones indicated his future support for more hires will be tied to the Metropolitan Police Department clarifying its role in immigration detention.

County wants joint meeting on potential funding to CCSD

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday signaled that they were unwilling to commit any dollars from a potential quarter-cent sales tax hike to the school district without first meeting with trustees on a plan and accountability.