See Something, Say Something success
LAUGHLIN — The increase in the number of calls for service for July and August isn’t necessarily a call for alarm, but the Laughlin Substation isn’t taking anything for granted.
“Looking at the calls, yes they are up 10 percent but (for here) that’s up by 44 calls (in July),” said Laughlin Substation commander Lt. Jeff Hewes. Averaging about an extra call a day, he continued.
Calls for service for July were 484; traffic citations — 507; Driving Under the Influence arrests — 4; battery domestic violence arrests — 7; bookings — 63 and one juvenile citation.
In August, there was a total of 422 calls for service; traffic citations — 556; bookings — 63; and no DUIs or arrests.
It’s not clear if that means residents are calling more or if there is another factor, Hewes said.
“The increase in calls for service was not unique to July,” said Hewes. “Calls for service have been up every month this year.
“There is no one single thing driving this increase. I see it that people are notifying the police more — we continue to get the See Something/Say Something message out and I think people are understanding that we’d rather them call us and have it turn out to be nothing than not call us and have it turn out to be something.”
There are only so many law enforcement officers working in the field, he said, so they rely on citizens to call in situations.
“This partnership with the community is essential in keeping this a safe community,” he added.
In Hewes monthly report to the Laughlin Town Advisory Board, he noted the largest percentage of calls originate from Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino, the Colorado Belle Casino Resort and the Edgewater Casino Resort.
“They are the most active hotels in Laughlin,” Sgt. Gino Briscoe told the Laughlin Nevada Times. “They have good security staffing and are proactive rather than be reactive.”
Since the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, police are taking additional precautions at large events and on a daily basis, Hewes said.
One particular change since the Oct. 1 shooting is the use of spotters at large events.
Spotters look not only at the crowd but for anything suspicious, he said.
“We’re using spotters now to be able to look out into the crowds and not watch just the crowd but around the crowd in a 360,” said Hewes.
Active shooters are not the only scenario weighing on staffing and protocols.
Metro looks at incidents worldwide, Hewes said, including ramming incidents in Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, New York and Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Silver Rider has been gracious enough to volunteer their time to help make events at the Laughlin Event Center safer,” Hewes said. “That’s where we have those huge crowds and they’re walking from the casinos and coming up Bruce Woodbury (Drive) so that was a concern of mine and Silver Rider was gracious enough to move buses out there and park in locations that can prevent an incident.”
Buses are placed in locations along Bruce Woodbury, Hewes said, providing a barrier between citizens and potential vehicle traffic that may drive around the cones, he continued.
“It’s just an additional layer of protection to ensure the safety of our pedestrians,” said Hewes.
Incidents could be malicious or someone who is intoxicated and not aware of their surroundings, he added.
Hewes noted that many changes in protocol regard large special events but police officers are now taking more notice of their surroundings at all times.
Oct. 1, 2017 was a reminder to take a look around and be aware of what’s going on around the home, the park or wherever an officer may be, Hewes said.
“I know when I go out in public, when I go to an event, I’ve got my head up, looking around more,” he said.
It’s not as if officers didn’t practice situational awareness before, but the Las Vegas concert shooting served as a reminder that when arriving on calls and making an approach to really look at all aspects of a situation, Hewes said.