Transparency

LVMPD going rogue on violent-crime statistics?

Abandons long-established FBI Uniform Crime Reporting standards

Is Las Vegas Metro doctoring its public reports to downplay a significant amount of violent crime?

Since 2011, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been reporting robberies as “crimes against property,” rather than crimes against persons.

That departs significantly from the standards used by the FBI and virtually all other U.S. police agencies since the 1930s, when crime-reporting procedures for law-enforcement agencies became standardized under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (“UCR”) Program.

Until 2011, Metro’s crime reporting also conformed to UCR standards — under which, “violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.” (Emphasis added.)

The remaining types of Category 1 offenses — burglary, larceny, and auto theft — constitute crimes against property.

Continue reading »

Analysis

State requires more accountability
from Southern Nevada police agencies

Law enforcement must file detailed reports every three months

For the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, its new More Cops money comes with higher transparency requirements.

That’s because when Clark County last week increased the countywide sales tax to hire more police officers, the county commission was implementing a new state law that requires a new level of oversight and reporting for Metro.

Under the state legislation — Assembly Bill 1 of the October special session, dubbed the Clark County Crime Prevention Act of 2016 — Metro’s governing five-member Fiscal Affairs Committee must submit quarterly reports to the state Department of Taxation on multiple matters.

The reports must spell out the total amount of the new More Cops tax dollars received and a “detailed description” of how that money was spent.

Continue reading »

Firms cash in on lawmakers’ craving
for ‘Champion of Small Business’ label

But taxpaying businesses, public regularly shortchanged

Hankering to be publicly recognized as a “Champion of Small Business?”

If you’ve been in politics the last few years, it’s been surprisingly easy. And it’s a label that provides useful bragging rights.

The reason? Few voters have the time to investigate what’s behind the label, which always looks authoritative on a politician’s brochure.

To get so designated during these last few years, all many legislators had to do was to introduce legislation — either state or federal — that some companies out of Louisiana were very happy to write up for them.

Introduce such legislation and, not too long afterward, you could pretty much expect to be officially anointed as a “Champion of Small Business” by a little nonprofit closely affiliated with those same out-of-Louisiana companies

The nonprofit — calling itself “The National Coalition for Capital” — handed out its accolades at posh dinners in cities wherever the National Conference of State Legislatures was holding its annual meetings. Photos were taken by coalition staffers to memorialize the occasion and provide fodder for news releases. Later sent to state and local newspapers, the packets thus helped build the prominence of agreeable lawmakers.

A recent Nevada Journal search of the Web for any joint appearances of the phrases “National Coalition for Capital” and “Champion[s] of Small Business,” produced names of over 60 individuals. Primarily these were state legislators, to whom the coalition applied the label, between the years of 2008 and 2015.

Virtually all of these state lawmakers — reviews of their legislative records reveal — had introduced legislation sought by the sponsors of the nonprofit. Those sponsors were, according to a 2011 article by the Portland, Maine Press-Herald, Advantage Capital Partners, Enhanced Capital Partners and the Stonehenge Capital Fund.

All three firms — doing business as “community development entities” — are receiving and selling insurance tax credits under the Nevada New Markets Job Act that state legislators passed in 2013.

Continue reading »

For every $2 million in ‘More Cops’ taxes,
Metro has added only one officer

Department has increased its force by only 325 officers
since 2005 — one-quarter of the 1,278 promised

Metro wants lawmakers to
believe in ‘magical number’

Staffing claims by LVMPD sheriff contradict 15 years of Metro’s own violent-crime data

CATO Institute gives Nevada Governor an ‘F’

Calls Sandoval’s heavy taxes for all businesses, with big breaks
for those favored by politicians, a ‘prescription for corruption’

Transparency an item for sale
by Metro PD’s officers union?

LVPPA agrees to equip all officers with body-worn
cameras — contingent upon salary increases

Updates to federal labor law
burden Nevada business anew

Some employees see new requirements as demoralizing demotions

Metro pushes for even more ‘More Cops’ taxes

Enlists powerful tourism committee in bid for higher, longer taxation

What happened to Metro's
‘More Cops’ promises?

Extra tax revenues channeled into bank, record-level pensions

Nevada’s shrinking labor force —
the view from inside small business

Labor force participation rate among Silver State youth lagging

Older articles »