To the editor:
Perhaps I’m missing some significant detail regarding the federal COPS grant (“$5.3 million saves police jobs,” Friday Review-Journal). North Las Vegas, which still must cut $10 million from this year’s budget and $42 million from next year’s, will be able to save the jobs of 16 police officers at a cost of a little more than $110,000 per job yearly for the next three.
However, to accept the grant, the city must agree to retain those officers for an additional year, at a cost of nearly $1.8 million — money which obviously is not there.
And North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck says this grant does not guarantee that other officers will not be laid off, given the city’s budget situation.
So what appears to be happening is the trading of certain police jobs at the cost of others, justified by using “someone else’s money.” I’m sure this will be great consolation to those in the next round of layoffs.
Nevada’s senior senator, Democrat Harry Reid, helped secure the Department of Justice grant. In what is surely just the first of an avalanche of October press releases, Sen. Reid said that putting Nevadans back to work is his No. 1 priority.
Using the government’s own figure of 192,000 Nevadans unemployed, I would suggest to Sen. Reid — who, after all, believes that a senator should create jobs — that this $5.3 million is about $63.5 billion short. If only we had the political clout of, say, Nebraska.