LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police had 82 vehicle pursuits in 2022, the highest in the past 10 years and well above the average of 48.3 per year.
Seventeen pursuits last year exceeded 100 mph, and seven went above 120 mph, according to Metro.
Statistics from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department showed an upward trend in vehicle pursuits, but a decrease in the number of officer-involved shootings in 2022 compared to the 10-year average. Metro’s “Use of Force and Vehicle Pursuit Statistical Report 2018-2022” was released Thursday.
A total of 14 officer-involved shootings occurred in Metro’s jurisdiction last year, lower than the 10-year average of 15.8. The number of OIS incidents has ranged from 10 to 22 each year. Metro reports 8 people were killed in the 14 OIS incidents last year.
The bulk of statistics in Metro’s report summarized the last five years of data. The report shows the dangers officers face in the field and the deadly consequences when they fire their weapons.
Officer Truong Thai was the only officer killed by a suspect in the past five years, shot to death as he responded to a disturbance call on Oct. 13, 2022. That five-year timeframe includes the June 1, 2020, shooting of Officer Shay Mikalonis, who continues to recover from critical injuries after he was shot while working on the Strip during protests that followed the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis.
According to the report, 40 civilians were killed in a total of 81 officer-involved shootings from 2018 to 2022.
The document describes the required reports on OIS incidents — including “non-deadly use of force” incidents — as well as all the training that officers are required to complete. But there’s also information about timeframes when the shootings occur, how many officers are on scene, demographics of police and victims, weapons involved and a look at discipline for officers.
Of the 28 use-of-force cases (deadly and non-deadly) in 2022, 25 were given “administrative approval” by a review board, and questions were raised about tactics/decision-making in only three cases. It was the first time in the past five years that there were no cases receiving “administrative disapproval.” Written reprimands were issued following investigations by the use-of-force review board and the tactical review board. No officers were terminated, the report showed.
Body-worn cameras were activated 91% of the time.
Investigations that followed vehicle pursuits showed that three out of four allegations against officers were sustained, the report showed.
Nearly a quarter of all pursuits were discontinued, either by the officer (4), a sergeant (10), or the watch commander or a lieutenant (5). And 70% of pursuits lasted five minutes or less.
Statistics on injuries showed that the subject of the chase was usually the only person hurt, but in seven cases, the subject and an uninvolved citizen were hurt. In five other cases, an uninvolved citizen was the only person hurt. Officers were only hurt in four of the 82 pursuits.