Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 | 2:02 a.m.
A crisis exists in Las Vegas! And a crisis unresolved brings horrendous negative consequences.
Last week, our capable Sheriff Doug Gillespie in a meeting with the Sun’s editorial board sounded the clarion call. He said crime in Las Vegas increased 9 percent last year — notably assaults and property crimes. Further, Metro Police is understaffed by more than 250 police officers. Gillespie said: “More cops is my priority. We need to get that funding.”
The funding Gillespie refers to is the department’s modest request for a quarter-cent sales tax raise to hire more police. I contend it should be at least 1 percent. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and the city council, North Las Vegas, Boulder City and Mesquite have voted for the increase. County Commissioners Steve Sisolak, Chris Giunchigliana and Councilman Bob Beers voted against the request.
It’s now up to our Legislature to approve our cities’ recommendations. Gov. Brian Sandoval has said that if our Legislature approves the sales tax increase, he will sign the bill into law. I praise our governor for his commitment to our police, public safety and especially the safety of our children.
A major fact that opponents of the sales tax increase forget: In 2004, voters approved a half-cent sales tax for hiring more police. Therefore, Gillespie and Metro are only requesting what voters already approved.