(Las Vegas, NV) — When Sheriff Doug Gillespie is asked about manpower within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, a bit of frustration is present.
The veteran law enforcement official will ask lawmakers to help get his force back to full strength.
In 2004, voters approved a sales tax increase of 1/2 of a cent. One quarter of that increase has been utilized and now Gillespie would like the other half to be put into place.
Metro is in the red by $46 million dollars and have eliminated nearly 300 positions to try and balance its massive $500 million budget. Gillespie believes the way Metro has operated will be a positive when asking for the money.
“We have gone to the legislature and shown what we have done with the money. They say we have done exactly with it what we should. We were able to reduce crime. We committed the numbers to wearing uniforms and being in black-and-whites and those types of things.”
And because of those officers that were lost, Gillespie has a specific use for the proposed funding.
“We would like to use the additional quarter to fill that void, but only use it for existing officer positions. Some of which are filled, some of which are not.”
And because of the economic collapse one of the biggest revenue sources has been depleted.
“Roughly 30% of our budget is property tax revenue. We have seen a $61 million reduction in that annually to this police department. It’s not coming back anytime soon.”