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Advocate: Focus is not divisiveness

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By David Giuliani

An advocate for a police oversight board says she wants a constructive approach toward the issue.

Pat Leahan of the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center, who helped organize a recent meeting dealing with police oversight, told the City Council earlier this month that an Optic headline, “Residents complain about police,” mischaracterized the meeting.

She said the meeting didn’t focus on complaints, but rather sought solutions.

“Our goal is partnership, not divisiveness,” she said.

Leahan noted that Police Chief Gary Gold has reached out to supporters of a police oversight board.

She said she and others are working with the Police Department to improve the complaint procedure. As it stands, residents have to go to the Police Department to get complaint forms, meaning that citizens may run into those officers with whom they have a grievance.

The police are arranging to make the complaint forms available at other places in the community, Leahan said.

She said that after the Optic published the phone number to the Peace and Justice Center for complaints against the police, she was “astounded” with the number of calls the center received.