March 27, 2021 - 9:00 pm
As a former member of Clark County’s Citizen Review Board, I was disturbed by the inaccuracies and distortions contained in Arthur Kane’s March 21 article, “Las Vegas police rarely held accountable for misconduct by board.”
Counting the number of people punished in the course of an organization’s calendar year is not the definition of accountability. If it were, Captain Bligh would have been named the Royal Navy’s “Officer of the Quarter.”
Creating and maintaining a culture of accountability, whether it be inside the Metropolitan Police Department or anywhere else, is a daily undertaking of enormous proportions with many moving parts and stakeholders. The review board is one group of volunteers who dedicate their time and attention to this vital issue. The board brings a community perspective to its review of citizen complaints — whether inane and frivolous (there are many of those) — or the relatively few that are worthy of further review.
Metro officers are very much aware that their interactions with the public are always subject to a fair and impartial due process review by the board, and the data shows that they carry out their duties accordingly. Over the past 21 years of the review board’s existence, my current and former colleagues have watched many, many hours of routine, legal, uneventful and thus downright boring body cam footage that proves this point.
The article’s false premise — that less Metro punishment must mean there is less accountability — perpetuates the myth that there are many abusive and out-of-control Metro officers running amok on our streets, and that the review board simply hasn’t tried to catch them all. There are no facts or data to support such a specious claim.