Police Commission President Steve Soboroff opened the meeting with a call for a few moments of silence to honor two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers who were recently shot to death during a confrontation with two suspects.
Commissioner Madison opened the Commission Comments segment of the meeting by talking about her and Commissioner Saltzman’s attendance at the Gay Pride Parade this past Sunday. She mentioned that she likes the event because it “encourages people to be who they are.” She affirmed it was an honor to represent the Department at the event. Commissioner Saltzman concurred with her comments and thanked Chief Beck and the Department for their support and leadership regarding gay-community issues. On a different topic, President Soboroff commended officers who responded to yesterday’s barricaded suspect incident in North Hollywood. He felt the overall enforcement tactics the officers used were “something to be proud of,” especially considering there were no injuries to anyone.
Chief Beck delivered the Report of the Chief of Police by thanking the commissioners for their words of support. He also reiterated feeling a loss for the slain Las Vegas officers. He then reviewed current crime statistics, including traffic collision data.
The meeting continued with two regular agenda items. Commissioner Saltzman wished to pull the first item for discussion and moved that the board approve the second item, which was relative to the professional services agreement with Partners for a Safer America for rotating bail bond signboard advertising. His motion for approval was seconded and consequently approved.
Discussion commenced regarding the remaining agenda item, which concerned the Operations Central Bureau (OCB) Narcotics Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit. The presentation and audit were conducted by Lieutenant Cheryl Baratta and Detective Jose Ceja of the Internal Audits and Inspection Division. Other Central Bureau command staff and officers were also in attendance. Lt. Baratta started by providing some background information on Command Accountability Performance Audits (CAPA). The current audit incorporated many objectives/topics, including evaluation of arrest reports, consistency of information, evaluation of officer and supervisor roles and more. The time period reviewed was January 1 through March 31, 2013. Lt. Baratta proceeded to enumerate on various objectives of the audit that were met or not met, after which, President Soboroff inquired as to the frequency of the audits, and Ceja clarified that these audits are conducted on an annual basis. Responding to the results, President Soboroff stressed that negative findings will need to be corrected in a timely manner, possibly with quarterly audits. Commissioner Madison expressed concern that of all the audits she has seen, the one in question had the worst administrative scoring because there hadn’t been enough attention to detail at the administrative level. She also agreed with President Soboroff about having quarterly audits. Lt. Baratta assured there would be a three- to six-month follow-up on the areas of the audit that scored poorly and those results would be shared with the commission within six months. President Soboroff expressed confidence that future audits would reveal problem areas had been improved; however, he advised that the commission would want to know details of how and why improvements were made. Commissioner Madison emphasized that whenever the commission receives follow-up reports, the deficient areas found in the audit must be fixed as soon as possible. She added the commission would provide any help as needed. Commissioner Saltzman thanked the auditors for their efforts and expressed his belief that some of the audit’s issues were tied to compliance with the now-defunct Consent Decree.
OCB Deputy Chief Jose Perez took the microphone to address the various concerns the commissioners expressed. He went into detail to cover all the topics as much as possible and assured that training in OCB is a regular activity and would address problem areas identified in the audit. He also talked about diligence conducting inspections, and those would apply as needed to the audit issues.
Chief Beck added that audits such as the one being discussed are especially tough, in large part due to continued effects of the Consent Decree. He offered assurance that Central Bureau “will move forward from this.”
Echoing Chief Beck’s comments, Director, Office of Operations and Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger had Lieutenant Lopez of his staff discuss the Office of Operations’ role in the audit and related issues. Lopez also spoke of ensuring proper policies and procedures are discussed and followed.
After discussion regarding the OCB CAPA ended, the commission approved the Department’s report and executive summary of same.