LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas Metro Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo is speaking out about the coronavirus, and he wants residents to know that Metro Police officers are here, prepared, and still working in full force.
“It’s important for them to realize that their police department is working. They’re out and about, and they’re doing what they do on a normal daily basis. That has not changed because of the situation,” Sheriff Lombardo said.
On Tuesday, aligning itself with the national request of social distancing, Metro Police urged the public to use online services to file police reports when possible.
“Well, obviously, you know, we’re trying to create the social distancing and, and try to minimize the human content act as we go through this crisis,” Lombardo said. And that includes my records department, which has, you know, in excess of 1,000 visitors on a daily basis. If we can minimize some of that daily contact or that need to the public, we’re going to try to figure out ways to do that. And one of them is filing a report online, if at all possible. We know a lot of people don’t have that ability. And we’re honest we’re staying open in order to accommodate people because it’s important that we’re aware of crimes being perpetrated, and then we document that.”
Sheriff Lombardo also spoke about how important it is for people not to buy groceries and other needs in excess. He discussed how creating situations of hoarding could affect so many people and is really hard on the elderly and the poor. Sheriff Lombardo said there is enough food and supplies for everyone.
“It’s important for us to reassure the people that it is actually happening, and it’s not just us talking – trying to create calm – there will be supplies for you moving forward.”
Brian Loftus, 8 News NOW Anchor: “Let’s look at this from a broader issue. COVID 19 coronavirus, talking about the community. This is a time of great anxiety; anxiety for so many as people trying to navigate what is really unchartered territory? With all that is going on how can you reassure our community that they are safe, and that Metro is still working full force to be there to respond to anything that might happen to them or happen to their neighborhood?
Sheriff Lombardo: “Well, great question, Brian. I appreciate you asking that. And it’s important for them to realize that their police department is working. They’re out and about or doing what they do on a normal daily basis. That has not changed because of the situation. And it’s important for public safety to provide that blanket or their perception of safety in a continual manner. So we don’t create our own chaos or create chaos for people. In other words, panicking because of a lack of supplies or inability to sequester themselves within their own residences and whether people are going to cause them harm, knowing that they’re in their houses instead of at work now. So it’s important, we don’t have the luxury of working from an office a lot, or like a lot of the recommendations that are occurring. Work from home, if you have that ability, you don’t have that ability. So it’s just as important for our officers to use precautions, so they don’t become a victim of the virus. So it’s important for them to realize that we’re out doing what we do on a normal basis, then our protocols or reaction and our — or if you call for service, we’re available. If you call for service, they’re available.
Sheriff Lombardo also talked about the increase in crimes Metro’s seeing during this time, along with the sheriff’s goals to help lead the Las Vegas valley through this crisis.
8 News Now Anchor Bian Loftus has more.