Metro re­mains fo­cused on vi­o­lent crime

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - CLASSIFIEDS - By Ri­cardo Tor­res-cortez A ver­sion of this story was posted on lasve­g­as­sun.com.

Although over­all vi­o­lent crime dipped last year, Metro Po­lice is not curb­ing ef­forts to com­bat it, ac­cord­ing to Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo.

Clark County’s top cop out­lined the agency’s pri­or­i­ties Wed­nes­day in his State of the Depart­ment speech.

Just like pre­vi­ous years, ad­dress­ing vi­o­lent crime again is at the fore­front of those pri­or­i­ties, Lom­bardo told sev­eral dozen Metro per­son­nel, rang­ing from vol­un­teers to top brass, at the Cabaret Jazz room in the Smith Cen­ter.

Although 20 fewer peo­ple were slain in Metro’s ju­ris­dic­tion in 2018 from 2017, about 350 more sex­ual as­saults were re­ported, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics he pre­sented.

But the drop in slay­ings, as well as rob­beries, shoot­ings and stab­bings, brought the to­tal num­ber of vi­o­lent in­ci­dents down by about 900, or 9.2 per­cent.

It is a “huge num­ber,” Lom­bardo told his staff.

The 58 vic­tims of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shoot­ing were not in­cluded in that year’s num­bers.

In an in­ter­view af­ter the speech, Lom­bardo com­mented on the FBI’S re­cent be­hav­ior anal­y­sis re­port that couldn’t pin­point a pre­cise mo­tive for the mas­sacre, not­ing that he wasn’t sur­prised with the find­ings.

“I think there’s a sense of clo­sure for the com­mu­nity with the FBI sum­ma­tion of their re­port,” he said. “It’s un­for­tu­nate more an­swers didn’t come for­ward, but that’s what we we’re deal­ing with.”

Among its find­ings, the re­port, which was re­leased last week, de­ter­mined that the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the gun­man’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health, as well as a sense of “in­famy,” may have con­trib­uted.

Lom­bardo touted the lead­er­ship at Metro’s homi­cide and gang units.

The homi­cide bureau has an 84 per­cent solv­ing rate, which is about 20 per­cent higher than the na­tional av­er­age, Lom­bardo said. “There is not an or­ga­ni­za­tion with a higher per­cent­age solve rate.”

Af­ter 10 slay­ings were at­trib­uted to the MS-13 transna­tional gang, Lom­bardo praised the gang unit’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which led to sev­eral ar­rests, and its “vi­sion.”

Of­fi­cers

More cops make a dif­fer­ence, Lom­bardo main­tained. So since he took of­fice, his ad­min­is­tra­tion has filled more than 600 new po­si­tions, meet­ing his goal that there are about two cops for ev­ery 1,000 res­i­dents — the high­est num­ber since 2010.

This year, up to 225 ad­di­tional hires will be made, Lom­bardo said. Fac­ing an in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion, Metro is in talks with Clark County and Las Ve­gas of­fi­cials about fund­ing for 84 ad­di­tional po­si­tions, Lom­bardo said.

Fa­cil­i­ties

Metro and its fundrais­ing arm aim to raise $20 mil­lion in pri­vate funds for a re­al­ity-based train­ing fa­cil­ity, Lom-

PHO­TOS BY STEVE MAR­CUS

Clark County Sher­iff Joe Lom­bardo re­ceives ap­plause Wed­nes­day dur­ing the State of the Depart­ment ad­dress at the Smith Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

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