Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 | 2:03 a.m.
The current debate regarding the More Cops sales tax initiative and the effect it will have on Metro Police is crucial to residents of the Las Vegas Valley. However, I want to extend a reminder to all concerned that this proposal is also extremely important to smaller police departments in Clark County. This modest proposed increase is absolutely crucial for Mesquite to maintain a police force that will sufficiently meet the needs of our community.
As the anchor of emergency services in northeast Clark County, Mesquite’s police force often serves as a first line of defense against drug trafficking, gangs and other criminal activity that can affect all Clark County residents.
If approved by the Clark County Commission, the More Cops initiative will allow Mesquite to immediately hire two officers, increasing our force by 7 percent. This increase is significant for us. Mesquite’s current officer-to-resident ratio is 1.58 officers per thousand residents, one of the lowest in the state. Compared with the national average of 2.0 officers per thousand, it is easy to understand the importance of this initiative to our residents.
The Mesquite City Council voted unanimously to support the current initiative. I recognize the Legislature has given the Clark County Commission the responsibility of authorizing this increase. However, I would respectfully request that the support of other city councils in Southern Nevada be given strong consideration as commissioners make this decision on our behalf.
The writer is Mesquite’s chief of police.