City study says Metro could save millions

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is a top heavy, largely unsupervised agency that could save $9.2 million, according to a study by the city.

The report also claims the city is paying more than its fair share for the police department it shares with Clark County.

''It's a fair-share issue,'' City Manager Virginia Valentine said. ''Are we getting what we pay for and are the right costs being allocated to the right entities?''

City officials say one of their main concerns is whether they are subsidizing law enforcement in unincorporated Clark County. For example, the police department isn't being fully reimbursed for running the county's detention center, costing the city $900,000 annually, the report contends.

The report also claims the department could save the money through personnel cuts and other changes.

Many of the police department's divisions are staffed by two managers when only one is needed, the report said. Additionally the report claims, the department provides overly generous pay and benefits in comparison to other city employees.

Another possible problem is the number of officers deployed in the city vs. the county. Officials are seeking detailed information from the police agency on whether the city is getting the number of officers it pays for.

Police Department Comptroller Lois Willis, who had time only for a cursory look at the study, said the city was misinformed on many points.

One example, she said, is a recommendation that the police department count money obtained through criminal forfeitures, such as drug busts, as part of the agency's annual budget. State law expressly forbids that, Willis said.


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