early January of 2003 the proposal of an all Volunteer Homeland
Reserve Unit (VHRU) was presented to Sheriff Bill Young, Las
Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The VHRU was accepted in
concept with the understanding we would conform to certain guidelines.
Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn was appointed our contact/liaison
officer as was Deputy Chief Jim White, Henderson Police department,
Chief Bill Turk, Boulder City and Deputy Chief Joe Forti of the
North Las Vegas Police Department who also supported the concept.
April, the Coordinator, Team and Squad Leaders were identified
and began putting together the organizational structure of the
VHRU. Meetings were held with Metro PD which resulted in some
basic guidelines: no weapons will be carried, background checks
will be done on all applicants, nylon mesh vests will be issued
by Metro, patches, logos and caps will be the cost of the VHRU
and approval was given to distribute an official Police Parking
Plate for the vehicles of the VHRU members.
website was developed and launched in April, 2003. As part of
that site, an application form was developed and now qualified
individuals can join via the Internet, fax or by mail.
May, the first General Membership meeting was held. It was agreed
to hold monthly meetings. The Core Leadership will meet prior
to the scheduled monthly membership meetings to develop the agenda
in May, presentations were made to the Chicago Police Association,
NYPD, Ten 13 organization, Fraternal Order of Police and the
Police and Fire Emerald Society regarding the formation of the
VHRU. Donations were made by these organizations as well as by
the Law Enforcement Association of Nevada to help defray the
cost of equipment needed for the VHRU members. Applications for
membership were distributed and sent out to all members of the
Coalition of Police Organizations. (www.nevadapolicecoalition.org)
application for Federal Funding was submitted by Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department under the “Volunteers in Policing” program.
Metro was later notified that these funds were given to 9 cities
across America but not Las Vegas. We will continue to review
Federal Grants to see if the VHRU could qualify.
Further discussions were held in May with Henderson, Boulder City and North
Las Vegas Police Departments to utilize the VHRU within their jurisdiction.
June, meetings were held with the head of Security in the Fiesta
Hotel Casino to arrange for special parking of the vehicles of
VHRU members responding to Laughlin (90miles away) if activated
by Metro PD. Car pooling will take place at this location.
August, a new Universal ID card was designed and submitted to
Metro for their approval. This card has identifiers indicating
all four police agencies and will be recognized as an official
police ID card by those agencies. The ID card was approved by
all agencies and will be produced once all the background checks
September, the VHRU working with Metro PD developed an action
plan if the City of Las Vegas is elevated to a “Level 4
Com Ops” (Highest alert status for Metro PD) situation.
Eight key Metro facilities were identified where our support
would be required. Meetings were held with all eight commanders
and Team and Squad Leaders to develop a working relationship
and familiarize themselves with the operations of that command.
Follow-up visits will be scheduled.
September monthly meeting was held in Laughlin hosted by the
Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. Don Laughlin the owner of
the Hotel and Casino, made a donation to the VHRU in support
of our goals. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police managers were also
present and reviewed our activation plan if we were asked to
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in September scheduled
an orientation meeting at the Police Academy This was our first
Police organized meeting. The response by the VHRU was outstanding
with over 100 in attendance for the three-hour session. Local
TV and press covered the meeting. As a result of the TV coverage,
the VHRU received an additional 25 volunteers.
was a busy month of meetings with the other three police agencies,
Henderson, North Las Vegas and Boulder City. Liability issues
were resolved to cover the members of the VHRU if activated in
any of the four police jurisdictions. Activation plans were drafted
for those agencies.
mentoring program was designed working with the Henderson Police
Department. Volunteers will be able to ride-a-long with uniform
officers on patrol. In addition, the program will be expanded
to the Police Academy where qualified members of the VHRU can
address the recruits. Other ideas are under discussion.
November, we had a planned mock exercise with the Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit. Metro requested
65 Volunteers for this exercise and 67 members responded. The
event lasted three hours where canvassing was done, house-to-house
in search of an elderly missing person. The exercise was completed
successfully with the person being found. This was a good training
exercise to help the VHRU members understand the police policies
and procedures. Other exercises will be forthcoming with the
three other police agencies.
were held with the City of Henderson Emergency Management as
well as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s
Emergency Management Unit to establish procedures if there is
a need for our assistance.
December, Henderson Police Department has agreed to produce the
Universal ID card. Images of our members have been given to them
in the hope of having our ID cards ready in January 2004.
in December, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department submitted
a request for funding to the State of Nevada under the “Citizens
Corps” program. The VHRU submitted its requirements for
basic equipment and funding. This application is pending.
year 2003 ended with the membership of the VHRU at 153 volunteers
from 56 different police agencies. The VHRU is looking for a
very successful 2004 by adding additional former law enforcement
officers to the group.