Homeland Reserve Unit
Here for "A Year in Review 2004"
Here for "A Year in
Year in Review
- The VHRU applied for consideration to join the “Adopt
a Highway” program. We were advised that we would be
assigned a sign on State Highway 159, Charleston Blvd into
Red Rock Canyon. VHRU members will perform quarterly cleanups
of our assigned 2 miles of roadway. The sign was installed
in June. See link:
- On Saturday, January 8, 2005, the Core Leadership conducted
a mock exercise involving a simulated airplane crash at McCarran
airport. Participating in this exercise were the four Administrators
along with the Coordinator who acted as the Incident Commander
in the Incident Command Center. The ICS was established at
the Italian American Club located not far from McCarran. A
temporary Morgue was established at Sunset Park a few blocks
from the crash site. This was manned by a number of the VHRU
to assist Metro P.D. Also, streets were closed and VHRU members,
to assist families of victims, covered hospitals in the immediate
area of the crash. VHRU members were assigned police and fire
facilities that were empty as a result of responding to the
crash to provide perimeter security and so on. The exercise
lasted 2½ hours followed by a meeting of all who participated
to critique the exercise.
- On February 3, 2005 the Coordinator went to Carson City to
meet with the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Emergency Management
Division to discuss the role of the VHRU as a State resource.
Chief Siracusa would like our organization to become more involved
in training with the various Emergency Management Units within
the State of Nevada. Arrangements will be made for the VHRU
to get more involved on a State level.
Meetings were also held with the Department of Public Safety,
Chief of Training, Rick Keema and the Executive Director of the
Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program, Inc.
Chief Keema has agreed to come to Las Vegas to attend our General
Membership meeting to discuss how the VHRU can assist the Department
of Public Safety, Training Division.
The Executive Director of the Nevada Rural Counties RSVP Program
agreed to submit to her organization, which is a nationwide volunteer
group, a proposal to obtain funding for the VHRU. The funds,
if approved, would be used for a few of the VHRU members who
qualify to travel to the rural areas of the State and offer training
on Homeland Security matters, as well as crime prevention techniques.
- On March 7, 2005, The Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit purchased
an 18’ enclosed trailer to be used for our equipment
and supplies. The City of Henderson Police Department has agreed
to allow the VHRU to store this trailer inside the access controlled
secured area of the police sub station in Henderson. (VHRU
- On March 23, 2005, Chief Keema spoke at our General Membership
Meeting, which was attended by 91 volunteers. Chief Keema was
seeking individuals that wanted to assist as instructors at
the Nevada Highway Patrol Academy as well as to conduct background
investigations. A number of our members expressed interest
and their names were furnished to Chief Keema.
Chief Keema would explore the possibility of the VHRU taking
over a small building that is being used by his Division to do
background checks. This Unit will be moving to a new location
and the building will be empty. Follow up conversations will
take place to see if this is feasible.
- On March 28, 2005, Ted Farace, the President of both the
Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit (VHRU) and the Coalition of
Police Organizations testified at the State Office regarding
the new Federal Law, HR 218 (Law Enforcement Officers Safety
Act, 18 U.S.C 926b and 926c). The Judiciary Committee in Carson
City held these hearings on the Assembly Bill 232, via teleconference.
Among others testifying from Carson City and Las Vegas was
VHRU Squad Leader, Steve Dawson.
The sponsor of this bill was the Speaker of the Assembly, Richard
Perkins in support of retired and active law enforcement officers
in the state of Nevada. The hearing went well with little or
no objection to this new law. The bill was passed and signed
into law by Governor Quinn. What this means is any retired law
enforcement officer living in the State of Nevada with 15 years
of service or those disabled no longer required to have a CCW
to carry a weapon concealed if he/she conforms to the Federal
Law, HR 218. This Federal Law requires each qualified individual
to qualify once a year with his/her weapon.
- April 16, 2005, we held our first Mock Exercise using the
VHRU membership. The exercise was coordinated with the Henderson
Police Department. The Henderson Police Department recently
received its new Mobil Command Vehicle, which can be used for
these types of situations. The Mobile Command Vehicle was activated
and 4 members of the VHRU were assigned to work with the PD
Officers, to deploy our people. The Chief of the Henderson
Police Department, James White, stopped by to observe the operation,
which lasted 2 ½ hours.
Sixty-Five (65) VHRU members responded to the staging area at
the Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino where we established our
staging area. From the Mobile Command Vehicle, the VHRU members
in teams of 4 were deployed to various locations to assist the
PD during a hostage, terrorist scenario at the City of Henderson
City Hall complex. See Link
- From April 21, to April 23, VHRU members worked the Laughlin
Motorcycle River Run assisting the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department. The volunteers worked night and early morning hours
patrolling the various parking garages to prevent motorcycle
thefts. The incident of thefts this year was reduced and it
is anticipated that we will be sending more volunteers down
next year to assist once again.
- Meetings were held with the Lieutenant in charge of the Emergency
Management Division of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The VHRU was requested to send 10 members to that unit to assist
them on a special project. We will continue to support this
unit going forward.
- On June 16th our General membership meeting was held at the
Riverside Hotel and Casino in Laughlin. Attending this meeting
were 44 members and their spouses and guests. The meeting and
social events planned for the spouses/guests were well received.
We would like to thank Team Leader Joel Barez for his support
at the Riverside Hotel and Casino, which provided a terrific
discount for our two-day stay.
- On Thursday, June 30th, Ted Farace, John Liba and Marty Rapkine
flew to Carson City to meet with the administrative staff of
the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management
to develop a new State of Nevada ID card for the VHRU members.
We are hoping to issue these new cards before year-end, once
approved by the Director of Public Safety, George Togliatti.
In addition, meetings were held with the new Chief of the Training
Division, Captain Perry of the Nevada Highway Patrol. A number
of issues were address which included background checks (fingerprinting
by Highway Patrol or Parole and Probation) on all VHRU members,
possible employment involving part time positions doing background
checks and assisting in the training of new recruits at the
Highway Patrol Academy in Las Vegas.
- On July 14th, a memorial service was help for our Laughlin
Squad Leader, Mel Ramos. Mel passed away after a short battle
with Cancer. Attending the memorial service were many of his
friends and colleagues from the VHRU as well as the Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department Volunteer program (MVP). Mel
was active in many organizations in Laughlin and was honored
by them all.
Mel was laid to rest in Lompoc California where he served as
a Captain before retiring and moving to Laughlin, Nevada. Mel
will be sorely missed. He was a dedicated individual who cared
about people and was always willing to help. To our friend Mel,
rest in peace.
- As part of our ongoing training program, The American Red
Cross was contracted to provide First Aid, CPR training and
certification. On July 20, 2005, 56 VHRU members attended a
6-hour class of basic First Aid and CPR. All 56 members were
certified after completing the course and exam. The program
was well received and additional training will take place in
- In August of this year, the State of Nevada, department of
Public Safety, Emergency Management Division has agreed to
design and produce out new State ID cards. Sample ID cards
were submitted and finally approved by the State Attorney General
office. Production will take place toward the end of this year
when our VHRU ID cards expire.
- The VHRU has now expanded to the northern part of the State
and formed a Carson City Team. Sid Nuckles, a retired Los Angeles
Police Officer, will lead the new Team. We are planning an
advertising campaign to locate and recruit more former and
retired law enforcement officers living in the northern part
of this State.
- Meetings were held at the request of the Nevada Child Seekers
Association to gain our support and help in locating missing
persons, mainly children. A draft Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) has been submitted to the new director for her review
and consideration. The agreement would protect our members
from liability and offer workers compensation benefits. It
is expected that this agreement will take effect in January
- A number of individuals were contacted in Mesquite, Nevada
and as a result a new Mesquite Team was formed. Don Woodmancy
agreed to take the lead as the Team Leader and wrote a terrific
article about the VHRU, which was printed in the local newspaper.
As a result, a number of individuals inquired about joining
- The VHRU was approached by the Clark
County Health District to solicit our support. They have a
program to distribute medication to every family in Clark County
in the event of a biological or bacterial attack. What the
Health District needs are volunteers to perform security at
the various distribution centers established to distribute
the medication. The discussions are ongoing and the VHRU is
ready to assist as soon as the Health District formalizes a
- On October 6th, the VHRU was activated to participate in
a mock exercise with the Henderson Police Department. At the
same time, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was
conducting a similar exercise. The location in Henderson was
the Galleria Mall where a simulated terrorist attack had taken
place. At 2200 Hrs, 67 members of the VHRU responded to our
staging area just outside of the Galleria Mall area. Our trailer
was used as well as our generator and outside lights. We had
power to operate a new Laptop computer in the field to maintain
a log of our movements during this exercise. The VHRU was asked
to provide perimeter security by closing off all the access
roads leading into the Galleria Mall area. Ten teams of 4 were
dispatched to various intersections. The balance of our members
were used as reliefs and standby for additional assignments
if required. The exercise was completed at 3:30am the following
morning. We were able to fine-tune our operation and better
handle the assignments of personnel during this event. (see
link to images)
- Our Grant funding expired on September 30th. A number of
key items were purchased to help support the VHRU organization.
Four satellite phones and assorted equipment were purchased
and assigned to four Team Leaders to be carried in their vehicles.
Also, two Laptop computers were purchased and will be used
for administration duties, both in the field and on a day-to-day
- The VHRU was contacted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department to assist in the City of Las Vegas Furlough Program
for the New Orleans Police and Fire personnel. The City of
Las Vegas raised money to fly those front line individuals,
both Police and Fire to Vegas for R & R along with their
families. (see link to images)
The City of Las Vegas Fire Department as well as the Clark County
Fire Department was actively involved in this program. The City
of Las Vegas Fire Rescue building was used at the Emergency Operation
Center under the direction of the City of Las Vegas Emergency
The VHRU took the lead at 7 major hotels in organizing the Hotel
Command Centers and staffing these for a two-week period. All
toll, close to 300 individuals were flown here. The VHRU, working
with Fire Department volunteers drove these individuals to doctors
to obtain medicine, clothes and what ever else they needed to
This was an excellent opportunity to work together in a structure.
Communication and reporting conducted on a day-by-day basis of
the activities and movements of the police and fire guests. As
a result, many friendships were made with our guests and the
various Police and Fire agencies involved from Las Vegas.
- In October the first of our new State of Nevada ID cards
were received and issued to our membership. We are hoping to
have all the ID cards prior to year-end.
Ted Farace, President and Coordinator
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