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August 21, 2014

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North Las Vegas plans to cut 83 police positions, including 17 officers

The City of North Las Vegas plans to begin sending pink slips next week to cut 83 positions in the police department, officials announced Wednesday.

The positions were slated for reduction in the fiscal 2012 budget approved May 17 by the City Council. The cash-strapped city could lay off more than 250 employees as it tries to plug a $30.3 million budget shortfall next year.

About $9.2 million will be saved from the police department layoffs, which include the following union positions: 17 police officers, three police supervisors, 21 detention officers and two detention supervisors.

Other positions in the police department slated for elimination include 36.5 Teamsters and 3.5 temporary positions. Some of the positions being eliminated already are vacant.

The final number of layoffs could be reduced if city and union leaders agree on additional union concessions, officials said.

“We’re continuing to talk with them and see if we can gain concessions to try to keep everybody,” said Michelle Bailey-Hedgepeth, assistant to the city manager. “We’re still trying to find solutions.”

Mike Yarter, the president of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association, said the layoffs break a memorandum of agreement between the city and the union, approved by the City Council in December 2010.

That tentative agreement saved the jobs of 11 police officers and implemented a no-layoffs policy for 18 months in exchange for union concessions, which included forgoing pay increases and freezing sick leave and holiday work paybacks.

“Apparently, the city enters into contracts with employees and fails to fulfill them,” Yarter said. “I hope they don’t do that with other vendors in the city. It’s bad business practice.”

The union has given up $18 million in three rounds of concessions since 2009, but there have been no city guarantees that future layoffs wouldn't occur, Yarter said. The police officers' union plans to continue negotiating concessions, but legal options are on the table, he said.

“This affects (public safety) drastically,” Yarter said, adding that staffing is now at 71 percent of pre-recession levels. “The level of service that police are able to provide is compromised.”

Other city positions possibly on the chopping block include 154 Teamsters, 40 firefighters, nine temporary employees and eight non-union employees.

North Las Vegas Police officials declined to discuss the layoffs until next week because the department isn't privy to details being negotiated between the union and city.

"We're obviously going to do the best we can with the resources we have," department spokesman Tim Bedwell said.

Sun reporter Jackie Valley contributed to this report.

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  1. While it is unfortunate that it has come to this, please keep in mind that the Police Officers Association is still giving their remaining members their annual Cost of Living Adjustments and pay raises. At a time when most Valley employers are freezing merit increase and 401(k) matching contributions maybe a few concessions could have saved these jobs.

    This is just another example of the corruption that is rampant under Mayor Shari Buck. Mayor Buck and her husband Keith (the Sarah and Todd Palin of North Las Vegas) have ingratiated themselves with the Police Officers, the uncertified Police Supervisors and the Firefighters unions. Mayor Buck hand picked her dentist to run for her former Council seat. Her husband managed that campaign. They, along with the Union Bosses, started PACs that spent over $240,000 in this election cycle. These PACs were formed with the express purpose of scaring the citizens of North Las Vegas by lobbing baseless charges against candidates for City Council. No wonder there was an illegal ballot in the Ward 4 election! They probably bussed in people across the city!

    In fact, the Bucks stand to benefit financially should both City Council races be in their favor. This corrupt duo, and their henchman dentist need to be sent a message that North Las Vegas is NOT Chicago and we will not tolerate this.

    The other City Councilmembers are trying to maintain a liveable community. We need to support them and stand up to these Union Boss Bullies!

  2. NLV Police have given up their COLA's. Has anyone considered that it was the council members that approved the police and fire contracts? Increasing the parks and rec budget by over 100% while cutting the police budget by over 40% is non-sense. The council members may change their minds once they become a victim of a crime or house fire.

    Has anyone reported that the NLV City Council members are voting to spend over $1 million for new office furniture? Are you kidding me?! Hard working police and firefighters are being laid-off while council members get to enjoy plush new furniture. Shame on them! They must have forgotten that NLV residents pay a tax to put more cops on the streets. Where is that money being spent? Must be on their new furniture.

    For those citizens and NLV council members who approve of laying off cops, I propose this: YOU try strapping on a vest every day to go to your job! Laying your life on the line each day may change your attitude.

    North Las Vegas may have clean park toilets, but watch out if you're mugged at one of their parks....

    By the way, there is no "illegal" ballot. Cherchio LOST!!! He should take it like a man and move on out of NLV!

  3. ADH, I'm not sure which budget you are looking at, but all City budgets have been affected.

    You are right - the Council approved these contracts. The Police Contract was approved by the Corrupt Incoming Mayor Buck, outgoing Mayor Montandon and term-limited Stephanie Smith. And let's not forget the disgraced Gregory Rose's influence here. Who's left that approved his contract with the platinum parachute? Oh yeah, Shari Buck.

    And sorry - parks and recreation has taken a budget and staffing hit. Just look at the Golf Courses (which could generate much-needed revenue) and all parks. Trying going to the "crown jewel" Nature Discovery park and you can smell the bathrooms from the parking lot. They are disgusting.

    The solution to this problem is simple - expose the corruption of Shari and Keith Buck, their lackey dentist and send them all packing. The Secretary of State has already found the shadow PACs they created with the help of the Police and Fire Union Bosses and which the Secretary of State has already found guilty for not filing their required Campaign and Expense Reports. Why haven't they filed? Oh yeah - because Keith Buck's name would be ALL OVER them.

    So, when you look to fix things in North Las Vegas, you need to start at the top - with the Chicago-style corrupt politics of Shari Buck.

  4. I don't think that there should be any government unions. The budget is the budget and if u don't have the money to pay for 20 but do have the money for 17...you fire the worst three.

  5. I am VERY informed about the situation in NLV. I'm curious how you feel about the recent approval of $1.2 million for new furniture for the new city hall that they did not even need. Are you kidding me?! Hard-working cops and firefighters lose their jobs, yet city council gets new furniture. Wow.

    How about the $300,000 fix for a new office that was off by one foot? The fix was not necessary.

    They are notorious for making HORRIBLE and CORRUPT decisions.

    Cherchio and Wood need to get out of office! The whole situation is absolutely maddening.