Friday, Aug. 3, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Crime rates in the Las Vegas area are “steadily going down,” something Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo partly credits to a boost in patrol officers who have recently joined the ranks.
Citing new year-to-date statistics, Lombardo said violent crime has decreased about 7 percent while property crime is down 3 percent. He spoke Thursday at Scotch 80 Prime inside the Palms during a fundraiser for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation.
The dip in crime, which Lombardo noted has decreased steadily over the past couple of years, comes after 2016 when that summer Lombardo described the havoc as the “forest” being on “fire.”
Since he assumed office in 2015, about 720 officers have been hired, placing the agency in the desired ratio of two officers available for every 1,000 residents, Lombardo said. About 270 additional officers will suit up through his next term.
“Cops make a difference,” he said.
The third annual “Lunch with the Sheriff” event is one of numerous efforts the foundation uses to raise private funding to supplement capital that may be lacking from government budgets. It helped collect about $3 million for a “state of the art” training facility for Southern Nevada authorities.
For about 20 minutes, Lombardo spoke to the 125 in attendance, including business owners, representatives from the Vegas Golden Knights and the UNLV athletics.
The foundation last year raised about $2 million, with an additional $1 million pledge from the Golden Knights, said Tom Kovach, executive director of the organization.
The foundation also funds community-oriented programs such as “Santa Cops,” in which underprivileged children are paired with officers as they go Christmas shopping, Kovach said.