LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With Drones flying overhead and armored robots guarding the ground, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department showed off some of their high-tech tools on Wednesday.
At the 4th Annual Lunch With the Sheriff, which raises money for Metro police, about 200 attendees got a first-hand look at the department’s efforts.
“I think it’s important for people to know what they’re investing in,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
Police say the investment in tech is paying off.
In just the past few years, drones, robots and fusion center cameras have helped catch criminals.
Lombard said homicides this year are down 28 percent and violent crimes overall are down 12 percent, thanks in part to the newer equipment.
“I’m very proud to speak of those numbers,” Lombardo said.
We’re being more preventative versus reactive. And that has a direct effect on violent crime and the ability to run an investigation into the ground without jumping onto another investigation.Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
The funding comes from the LVMPD Foundation, which is now working on a $20 million state of the art project.
Tom Kovach, executive director of the foundation, said, “One of our key priorities is the construction of a new Reality Based Training Facility, that we hope to break ground on this fall.”
Metro Police aren’t just showcasing advances in technology. They’re also putting a spotlight on increased enforcement — especially when it comes to their Traffic Bureau.
Lt. Gregory Munson of the Traffic Bureau said, “DUI-related fatalities are down, even though we’ve had some very high-profile DUIs recently, overall, our DUI fatalities are on a drastic decline.”
The valley’s first-ever DUI strike team has made about 800 arrests since October.
The Traffic Bureau is also looking at “smart intersections,” where traffic lights capture data, adding to Metro’s larger effort to better-equip officers.
“They can’t do their jobs without technology,” Lombardo said.