VHRU - Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit, Las Vegas, Hendrson NV VHRU - Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit, Southern Nevada
Las Vegas Retired Police Officer's Organizations Henderson Retired Police Officer's Organizations

Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit

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A Year in Review

•The Henderson Police Department agreed to produce our VHRU ID card. A special program was written top accommodate the use of their present ID system to generate our multi police agency ID card. Our thanks go out to the leadership of the Henderson Police department for their help.

• In April, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department conducted a mock exercise in Laughlin, NV. The VHRU was activated and 65 volunteers responded to the City, which is approximately 90 miles away. Although this exercise was a tabletop plan, it gave the membership the opportunity to participate with the LV Metro PD. Our Team Leader, Joel Barez, hosted our members at the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino during the exercise.

• In May, a number of the Core Leadership attended CERT training and Incident Command Systems (ICS) course given by Clark County Emergency Management. As part of the ICS training, the Core Leaders completed an exam on line and received their FEMA certificates as Trainers. VHRU now has certified trainers who are qualified to train our membership.

• In June, we were contacted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to assist with the Police Athletic League program. Ted Farace met with one of the Directors, Deputy Chief Mike Ault to discuss how we can assist. As a result, one of the VHRU members took on the responsibility of running this program, which took effect on September 1, 2004 eliminating the need for uniform police officers to be involved on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, a number of the VHRU members have signed on to assist with the program as volunteers.

• On July 7th, the VHRU was established as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Nevada. Additionally, a request was made to the Internal Revenue Service for a 501C-3 status as a federal not-for-profit organization. The purpose of this initiative is to allow the VHRU to solicit donations and submit requests for federal grants directly. This was also a requirement to be a resource for the State of Nevada. We received approval on September 9th, from the IRS. Directors were appointed as required and an account was opened to deposit any funds received.

• On August 23rd, the Fiscal Affairs Committee, City of Las Vegas approved the disbursement of approximately $20,000 of federal grant money to the VHRU for communication equipment purchases and miscellaneous supplies. The LV Metro PD submitted this grant in December 2003 on our behalf. The communication equipment consists of cellular phones with walkie-talkie capabilities. These cell phones were purchased and issued to the Core Leadership (20), which includes Team Leaders and Squad Leaders.

• On September 8th, Team Leader Bob Abrams did a presentation to the 70 attending members at our General Membership meeting on Incident Command System (ICS). We will present this topic again to insure we have reached all our members.

• Frank Bruton, Treasurer, representing the VHRU, attended a two-day class at the University of Phoenix on Grant writing. It will be his responsibility to research any Federal or Corporate grant opportunities that the VHRU can request. As part of his position, Frank will interface with the Henderson Police Department and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department grant writers to insure that we have the opportunity to submit grant requests through those departments.

• During the months of June and July 2004, the leadership of the VHRU met with the Chief and Deputy Chief of the State Office of Emergency Management to discuss the feasibility of the VHRU becoming part of the Emergency Management response team for the State. A budget for equipment and supplies was also submitted to the State.

On October 23rd, The Director of Public Safety for the State of Nevada, Mr. George Togliatti attended our General Membership meeting held at the Green Valley Ranch Casino. He and Frank Siracusa, the Chief of the Emergency Management Division for the State of Nevada addressed the 112 attending members. A number of ideas were suggested by Mr. Toglatti and Mr. Siracusa, which will be pursued during 2005.

• Ongoing discussions with the City of Henderson Police Department to create a Citizen Corps, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program. If approved, the Citizen Corps will be comprised of up to 24 members who have stepped forward to become part of this program. The Volunteers in Police Service will focus on areas where there are no police personnel available, such as organizing homeowner associations’ neighborhood watch programs as well as other special events.

The leadership of the Citizen Corps will work closely with the City of Henderson Emergency Management Director. Being part of the Citizen Corps program does not prohibit the VHRU from making itself available to respond to the City of Henderson, the other three police departments or the State in time of crisis.

In October 2004, the Henderson Police Department approved the concept of the Citizen Corps as a one-year pilot program. The official start date for the Citizen Corps members will be January 1, 2005. In order to better understand the policies and procedures of the Henderson Police Department, the volunteers will be required to attend the Henderson Citizens Academy one day a week for 13 weeks.

Nine volunteers signed up for the class and graduated on December 15th. Additionally, the Coordinator will attend the weekly Henderson Police Department Executive meetings to become familiar with the senior management of the department and to access their needs and how best to utilize the Citizen Corps volunteers starting in January 2005.

Areas the Citizen Corps will focus on: Investigations, Bike registration, Bike Rodeo’s, special events, and parades etc, Animal Control Shelter assignments, Traffic assistance, working with the Police Athletic League Boxing Team and the Records Division. Other areas of the Police Department are being explored for possible volunteer assistance.

• In October 2004, the Henderson Police Department contacted the VHRU and requested assistance in helping the Detective Unit distribute Tier 3 Sex Offender flyers within the community where these individuals reside. The VHRU distributed flyers to over 2000 apartments identifying three different Sex Offenders. Citizens gave three complaints of sexual behavior to VHRU members handling out flyers on one of the individuals. These complaints were forwarded to the Detective in charge of Sex Crimes Unit for further investigation.

• The Coordinator of the VHRU contacted the Mayor’s office of the City of Las Vegas in November in an attempt to solicit a donation of a building that is deemed by the city to be obsolete. The intent was to utilize this facility for VHRU monthly meetings and training classes. All members of The Nevada Coalition of Police Organizations could also use the building for their meetings. Unfortunately our request was denied. The VHRU will continue to pursue other possibilities in 2005.

• Effective November 1st, the VHRU will conduct its own background investigations on new applicants. The new applicant must sign a waiver allowing the VHRU to verify his/her past law enforcement experience. Discussions will be held with the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Henderson Police Department to seek their assistance in fingerprinting of all VHRU members to insure the integrity of the membership. The 24 members of the Citizen Corps have already been fingerprinted by the Henderson Police Department.

• On November 16th, a meeting was held in Pahrump with a number of new applicants who have come forward to join the VHRU. The local newspaper, The Pahrump Times did an extensive story on the VHRU recently, which helped to recruit these new members. As a result, we have now created a Pahrump team with a Team and Squad Leader living in that city to manage the group. Plans for 2005 include meeting with the Mesquite Police Department in an attempt to gain their support to ultimately add Mesquite to the growing list of cities that will have a VHRU team.

• On December 6th, the VHRU had officially become a State of Nevada resource under the leadership and direction of the Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the VHRU and the Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, which allows the VHRU to be deployed anywhere in the State if needed.

As part of this agreement, the VHRU will now have available State and Federal Funds for various training programs and equipment needs.

• Deputy Chief Ault of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department contacted Ted Farace, President of the VHRU and requested an executive summary on the formation of the VHRU. Ted will be asked in early January 2005, to make a presentation to the Sheriff as well as his top executive officers on the role of the VHRU and how our unit can become more involved with the Metro Police Department.

• On December 21st, the Henderson Police Department asked the VHRU for assistance in canvassing an area as a result of a recent Homicide. A few days earlier, Robert Charles Lamb brutally shot his sister in the parking lot of a local school. He was apprehended that same day. The purpose of the canvass was to locate additional witnesses to identify Lamb as being in the area prior to and on the day of the actual shooting.

A number of VHRU members responded (24) to the call and teams were established to canvass the area of the shooting. Our members canvassed the area for two days and located witnesses living in a large condo complex. A number of leads were developed and given to the Henderson Police Department Detectives for follow up.

Ted Farace, President and Coordinator


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