Violent crime in Las Vegas is becoming more common these days. Just last month, police officers found the body of a security guard at a southwest construction site. The guard had been reported missing by the employer. The victim had been shot several times making it the 62nd homicide of the year. This is double the number of murders committed in Las Vegas police last year.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo has acknowledged the surge in violent crimes in Las Vegas and has proposed ways of countering it. Besides violent crimes, Las Vegas has also seen an explosion in aggravated assaults, sexual crimes, and robberies– all of which are up by 15% this year. These numbers have steadily been going up over the past few years despite massive police presence and awareness.
Chief Lombardo has stated that something urgent needs to be done to make the community safer. He is adamant that the metro police will take measures to make Las Vegas a safe city again.
Unfortunately, there is a nationwide epidemic of violent crimes. Almost every city in the US is facing an increase in violent crimes. Chief Lombardo has spoken to his colleagues at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office as well as former Clark County Sheriffs Bill Young and Dough Gillespie for advice.
Chief Lombardo believes that one of the primary reasons for the increase in violent crime in the city is because of gang activity. In at least 50% of the 62 homicides this year, investigations revealed gang related activity.
The reason why gangs have proliferated in Las Vegas is because gang members have relocated from California and dispersed into the community. The gang problem is that obvious because of this dispersion but it is definitely having an impact. Decentralization by the police may be effective way to counter the gang problem.
Another reason for the violent crimes is that many California prisons are now releasing their so called “safe prisoners” to avoid over crowding. The depopulation of prisons that started in California has resulted in many non-violent felons having their prison terms cut short by the new California laws. Proposition 47 led to decrease in sentences for non violent crimes like petty theft and drug possession, with charges being reduced to misdemeanors. Unfortunately many of these felons have now moved into the valley where they have taken up gang membership.
Chief Lombardo has assured the people of Las Vegas that beside more police on the streets, there will be more aggressive measures to curb violent crimes.