NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The size of the budget gap facing the City of North Las Vegas may ultimately cost its citizens their police force. North Las Vegas is in on-going talks with the Metropolitan Police Department to transfer part, or possibly all, of its police services.
North Las Vegas City Manager Tim Hacker says the city has had multiple meetings with officials from Metro to explore a takeover. Hacker says everything is on the table, ranging from Metro taking control of ancillary police services, like the jail, crime scene investigators, and SWAT officers, for example, to a complete transfer of all police services.
Hacker says the city and its leaders are committed to ensuring public safety, but that fiscal realities may demand a different approach.
Hacker confirms the discussions with Metro do not involve a merger of the two departments. Instead, the city would pay Metro per a contractual agreement to provide police services.
It's unclear at this point what sort of savings could be achieved with such an arrangement, but Hacker says closing the jail, for example, would save the city between $9 and $11 million a year.
North Las Vegas faces an estimated budget shortfall between $31 and $33 million. Hacker says an agreement with Metro is a last option, and one he hopes to avoid with union concessions.
The head of the North Las Vegas' Police Supervisor's Union says city leaders have mismanaged and misappropriated tax overrides earmarked for police services, including the More Cops fund. He says the citizens should get what they've paid for.