Vegas TMI Podcast: The State Of Public Safety In The Valley

Listen to Communications Director David Riggleman talk to Captain Sasha Larkin who is the head of the Metro’s northwest area command; it’s the largest command area in Las Vegas which covers most of Summerlin. He also talks to Dr. William Sousa, a Criminal Justice Associate Professor and Director of Center for Crime and Justice Policy with expertise in police policy and management, international police, and community crime prevention. He oversaw a team of UNLV students recently who studied crime downtown and on the Strip and compared residents and visitors perceptions of crime versus what the stats actually were. Here are four things to know from their segment.

Crime Is Down

Year over year, total crime is down a percent.

“We’re making a lot of positive strides but will social media, there is a lot of chatter about it which can lead to the perception that crime is up,” Northwest Area Command Captain Sasha Larkin said on the podcast.

Crimes Of Opportunity

Out of 406 recent burglaries in the northwest, 39 percent were no force used meaning a criminal took advantage of an open window or unlocked door. “Criminals want cash and guns. Use a safe. That hand gun sitting on your night stand isn’t protecting anyone while you’re at work.” Captain Sasha Larkin said. “We need homeowners to take an active role in their own safety.”

Community Policing Has Evolved To Help In The Perception Of Crime

“We want to build communities of trust so everyone has a voice,” Northwest Area Command Captain Sasha Larkin said on the podcast. Metro has a monthly meeting between faith leaders to help bring communities together and give the faith leaders tools to help their communities with things from the dark side of social media to home safety. “We found that when they have relationships with each other, real work gets done.” she said

Citizens Desire A Relationship With Police

“Citizens like to see police in their neighborhood; it’s often easier for them to make connections if the police officers are outside of their patrol cars,” said UNLV’s Dr. Sousa. “When we take the cop out of the car, we are part of the community,” Captain Sasha Larkin said.

In segment two, we talk to three city of Las Vegas city marshals about their work to keep city properties from parks to community centers safe. If you’re interested in becoming a city marshal, we’re hiring through December 31.