Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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A day after: Metro Police are out with heads on swivels, watching everyone

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L.E. Baskow

Metro Police officers are consoled by Mike Haskins as they gather across from CiCi’s Pizza restaurant in Las Vegas to honor their fallen brothers on Monday, June 9, 2014.

Community Prayer Candlelight Vigil for Officers

Cheri Rasmussen with the International Church of Las Vegas prays with Metro Police officer T. Bonner following a candlelight vigil outside of CiCi's Pizza restaurant to honor slain officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo on Monday, June 9, 2014.  They are joined by Ryan and Mark Rasmussen and other supporters. Launch slideshow »

Slain Officer Memorial

Mike Haskins says a prayer after leaving flowers at a CiCi's Pizza restaurant in honor of two Metro Police officers killed there on Sunday, June 8, 2014. A small memorial was building there and officers were gathered nearby as well in support of their fallen comrades on Monday, June 9, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Metro Officers Slain: 6/8/14

Metro Police are seen outside a Wal-Mart on Nellis Boulevard between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, where two people allegedly fired shots after shooting two officers at a nearby CiCi's Pizza. The suspects then killed themselves. Launch slideshow »

A day after two of their colleagues were ambushed and killed, Metro Police on the streets are doubled up, more aware and watching their surroundings with much more care.

And those in charge at Metro are making sure those in the ranks maintain their composure in light of Sunday’s ambush shooting deaths of Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo at a pizza restaurant on Nellis Boulevard.

“Your sense of awareness goes up tenfold,” said Capt. Will Scott, who oversees Metro’s Bolden Area Command, which is a sector north of U.S. Highway 95 just west of where the two slain officers patrolled. “Now (an officer) might be eyeballing someone not because you think they’re a bad guy, but you’re wondering, ‘Do they have anything in their hand? Why are they staring at us?”

Another Metro source characterized it this way: "Your head is on a swivel. You're watching everyone."

Scott has warned his officers “not to fall into the feeling that ‘the community is out to get us, ’” he added. “Be aware. Be alert. But at the same time, we don’t want to lose the ground we’ve made with the community, the trust we’ve built.”

Worry about “copy cats” is real, Scott added.

“There are going to be those folks happy that police officers are killed, but I don’t want my officers (to hear that and) fall into that trap and letting go of their professionalism. We still have a job to do,” he said.

In fact, a reader who called the Sun said a helmeted man dressed completely in white rode his bike around noon Monday on East Fremont Street and carried a professionally made sign accusing federal authorities of using mind control to kill cops and make patriots look bad.

On the flipside, Scott said he had been overwhelmed by messages of support from both those he knows and from complete strangers.

“The whole day I’m getting flooded with emails and condolences,” he said. “I’ll tell you, it’s easier doing the job knowing that a majority of the community is behind you.”

In a news conference Monday, Scott’s boss, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, encouraged community members to let officers know they’re appreciated and to offer their condolences over the deaths of Beck and Soldo.

“When you see them out their job, take a moment out of your day – like a couple of citizens did this morning when I was getting gas,” Gillespie said. “They obviously went out of their way to come up and offer to me their heartfelt condolences.”

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