Gold leaving as police chief

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By David Giuliani

Las Vegas Optic


Today is Las Vegas Police Chief Gary Gold’s last day as chief.

For much of the year, he has talked about retiring. He gave notice a few weeks ago that he would.


Technically, he is with the city until Dec. 31 because of his accumulated leave. 


Deputy Police Chief Christian Montaño will assume the role of interim chief. He said he will apply for the permanent position. 


Gold, a former state police officer who became the chief in June 2007, said he plans to take some time off after Friday. 


“I want to take a break, get out of the limelight, spend some time with my family and work on my honey-do list,” he said. 


Gold, 42, has been in law enforcement since he was 18. After a break, Gold said he would like to become a private investigator and possibly run for political office.


A West Las Vegas school board member, Gold said he plans to run for a second four-year term in February. 


After that, he said he would consider running for such offices as sheriff or municipal or magistrate judge. 


He also said he plans to form a Neighborhood Watch group in his Romero Street neighborhood. 


During his more than three years a chief, Gold said the department has had a number of accomplishments — creation of an internal affairs division, near completion of the accreditation process and the development of a pay plan.


Gold said the new pay plan ensures that officers and other employees are paid fairly and that no one gets special treatment. He said that because officers have such tough jobs, they should be on the high end compared to employees in other departments.


During a City Council meeting last month, Gold recommended that the council reject a proposed contract with the officers union. That angered the 20 officers in the audience, most of whom walked out as he was speaking. 


“I have an obligation to the troops, and I have an obligation to the administration and the taxpayer,” Gold said. “I have a profound loyalty to the Police Department and law enforcement in general.”

He said it bothered him when the police officers left the council chambers.


“I have to represent both sides. That’s why police chief is one of the toughest positions in city government,” the chief said. 


During his reign, Gold said no mayor — he worked for three — or City Council member asked him to to anything unethical or improper. 


“They have all been honest and ethical,” he said, adding that he thanked all of the mayors and councils he served for their professionalism and support.


As he leaves his post, Gold urged residents to support law enforcement. 


 “They should always support public safety. They should keep it a priority,” he said.