LAS VEGAS — Salary data for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, for the calendar year 2012, is now available at TransparentNevada.com, a Nevada Policy Research Institute website that makes government-spending data easily accessible to taxpayers, NPRI announced today.
“The employees of Las Vegas Metro continue to be some of the highest compensated employees — public or private — in the Las Vegas Valley,” said Andy Matthews, president of NPRI. “In 2012, 149 employees took home more than $200,000 in total compensation, with one captain raking in over $585,000 in total earnings.
“One lieutenant cashed in for over $354,000 and an assistant sheriff received more than $294,000.”
Matthews stated that, in 2012, 348 employees received over $175,000 in total compensation, and 888 employees took home over $150,000.
“These inflated salaries are the result of collective bargaining laws that favor politically powerful labor unions over the needs of taxpayers,” he said. “As we’ve seen before and are seeing again, right now, once it becomes apparent that such salaries are unsustainable, government unions start demanding that Nevada’s struggling families and businesses fork over even more.”
Matthews noted that the release of the salary data comes as Las Vegas Metro brass wants the Nevada Legislature to authorize a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax and give the department “flexibility” in spending that money. Originally in 2004, tax increase proponents had pledged that the sales tax increase would only be used to hire new officers.
“Las Vegas Metro’s budget problem flows directly out of its inflated salaries,” said NPRI’s president. “Just last year, it paid three police sergeants a combined $1.09 million, while spending over $140,000 each on 1,343 employees.
“Just as you wouldn’t give more alcohol to a drunk, you shouldn’t give more money to a government agency with a spending problem enabled by a bad collective-bargaining law. To really fix what’s wrong with Metro’s budget, reform or eliminate NRS 288 — the 44-year-old law that is the root of the problem.”
Matthews observed that in 2005, Metro police officers received a new union contract from the county that included a 21.8 percent, across-the-board pay hike over four years.
He also noted that Metro annually spends over $1.8 million paying police officers and other employees to work for private organizations — unions — instead of protecting taxpayers.
“Union leave time is an outrageous and unconstitutional use of tax dollars,” said Matthews. “While Metro brass threatens the public — saying citizens will be even less safe without a tax increase — they pay certain officers over $1.8 million to sit on their behinds and work full-time for taxpayer-gouging private associations.
“Here is an alternative solution for lawmakers: Make taxpayer-subsidized union leave time illegal. Not only would this save taxpayers money, it would also put more officers on the streets.”
The release of the salary data comes during Sunshine Week, March 10-16, a nationwide effort to highlight the importance of governmental transparency.
“It’s appropriate that this information is made available to the public during Sunshine Week, which highlights the need for transparency in government,” said Matthews. “Even a casual glance at the Metro salary data now available at TransparentNevada shows that excessive salaries are behind Metro’s budget difficulties.”
- 2012 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Salaries are available at http://transparentnevada.com/salaries/2012/las-vegas-metro-police-department/.