Police explain how they respond

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By David Giuliani

When the Las Vegas Police Department gets a call for service, it handles the matter based on individual circumstances, Police Chief Gary Gold said. But when officers believe a crime has occurred, they should take down a report, he said.

Gold said the Police Department is moving away from writing full-fledged informational reports, which have been traditionally done for things such as reports of suspicious people walking in a neighborhood. In such cases, the information is now taken down when dispatchers log calls that come into the Police Department.

“We were taking an abundance of reports when I came (in the summer),” Gold said.

But he said he wants his officers to spend more of their time on writing reports on actual crimes.

“Each situation has to be taken care of individually,” he said.

Gold said his officers should take down reports when crimes such as hit-and-run accidents, vandalism, and batteries and assaults have occurred, he said.

In some situations, it’s not as clear if officers should write reports, he said.

In September, a police report indicated that the district attorney’s office advised officers to write a report for a 19-year-old man who accused a 31-year-old of reaching into his car, moving him out and then driving the car away. However, the 39-year-old said the younger man owed him money on another car and agreed to give him the car.

Gold said in that instance, officers didn’t initially take a police report because it appeared to be an agreement to give collateral until a loan was repaid. In the end, he said his officers took the district attorney’s advice.

Gold said that if residents are unhappy with their service after officers have responded to a call, they should call a supervisor.

He said some officers are newer to their jobs but that sergeants closely watch what decisions they make in responding to calls of criminal activity.