CORRECTION: A previous version of this story contained an error. Sustained complaints against Metro police officers dropped by more than half from 2018 to 2019. The text of the story has been changed to reflect that comparison.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Internal affairs complaints sustained against Metro police officers dropped by more than half from 2018 to 2019, according to a report released Wednesday morning.
The 104 complaints that were sustained compared to 228 the previous year.
Discipline assessed against police ranged from written reprimands to suspensions, terminations and disciplinary transfers. The graph and table below detail the type of discipline handed out.
Metro terminated 11 employees in 2019 after internal investigations. Only four were fired in 2018.
While 18 Metro employees were allowed to retire in 2018 in lieu of termination — presumably retaining some retirement benefits — Metro only allowed that to happen in four cases in 2019.
A pair of reports released Wednesday morning by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department provide a look inside internal affairs complaints against police. The statistics include complaints against all Metro employees, but police officers received the majority of the complaints.
The reports, which you can read below, contain statistics about the number of complaints, who made the complaints and information on the outcomes of internal affairs investigations. The reports cover complaints filed in 2018 and 2019.
The 2018 report — a single page of statistics — indicates that complaints were up from 2017 by 19%.
The 2019 report — a 37-page analysis full of charts and graphs, and even a glossary of terms — shows a 13% decline in complaints from 2018.
The highest number of citizen complaints came in the Northwest Area Command, where 170 complaints were filed in 2019, compared to 178 in 2018. And while the Spring Valley Area Command had fewer complaints — 88 in 2018 and 122 in 2019 — the percentage increase was the highest for all of Metro’s 10 area commands — 39%.
If fact, complaints increased in only one other area command — the Southeast Area Command (9%).
Complaints dropped in each of the other eight area commands. The Convention Center Area Command had the steepest drop — 23% — with 132 complaints in 2019, down from 171 the previous year.
The 2019 report shows that police are often the source of complaints against their colleagues.