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

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2004"

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2003"

A 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 Trailer)
  • 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 early 2006.
  • 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 2006.

  • 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.

  • 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 plan.
  • 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 basis.
  • 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 Manager.

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 do.

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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