Metro pushes for expanding ‘More Cops’ tax despite failing to use millions stashed in reserve

For Immediate Release
Contact Michael Schaus, 702-222-0642

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Metro Police Department, with the help of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee, is looking to extend and expand the “More Cops” tax in Clark County — despite a well-documented failure to use existing funds dedicated for hiring more uniformed police.

(Click here for more information on LVMPD’s request to extend or expand the More Cops tax.)

“If Clark County taxpayers are to AGAIN be tapped for ever-higher law enforcement taxes, they are entitled to an entirely new level of public accountability from Metro regarding how it deploys the resources it receives,” said Nevada Policy Research Institute Senior Vice President Steve Miller.

“In 2005, citizens were told the More Cops tax would allow Metro to hire 1,278 new, uniformed officers by 2015,” explained Miller. “Instead, Metro only hired 566 in that time period.”

According to investigations into the fund by the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s journalism outlet, Nevada Journal, the biggest concern for taxpayers should be the lack of transparency regarding existing More Cops funds.

“The funds were intended, and in fact required, to be used to hire more cops. And yet, that’s not what has happened,” said Miller. “Almost $19 million was spent on other funding needs from the More Cops fund, and about $113 million is just sitting in the account — unused toward new hires, despite the department’s repeated request for more uniformed officers.”

While the cost of hiring police officers has increased over the years, Miller says the department’s unwillingness to use existing More Cops funds should preclude discussion about expanding or extending the initiative.

“When Metro brass state publicly that they are running a deficit, and allegedly need more police to battle crime throughout the area, they conveniently ignore the fact that there is well over $100 million sitting in a bank account, earmarked specifically for meeting these needs,” Miller said.

“Before asking taxpayers to cough up more of our hard earned dollars, there needs to be more transparency, and Metro needs to be clear about how it intends to use the funds it has already stockpiled.”

The Nevada Journal’s ongoing investigation into the More Cops tax, including Metro’s decision to use More Cops funds for other purposes, can be found on NevadaJournal.com.

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