VHRU - Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit, Las Vegas, Hendrson NV VHRU - Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit, Southern Nevada
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Volunteer Homeland Reserve Unit

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2006"

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2005"

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2004"

Click Here for "A Year in Review 2003"

A Year in Review
  • In January at our first General Membership Meeting for 2007, newly elected Sheriff Doug Gillespie Clark County Sheriff and Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department attended as our guest speakers.  Sheriff Gillespie gave an overview of his plans on managing the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as well as his thoughts on how we can be used to assist his department.
  • Also attending this meeting were students from UNLV majoring in Criminal Justice. The course they are taking is “Police in America”, which is being taught by one of our members, Adjunct Professor Jerry Storch, formerly with the New York State Police. Our guests enjoyed the meeting and their conversation with Sheriff Gillespie.
  • In November of last year, it was decided by the Core Leadership to select families in need and to donate funds from the VHRU to assist them during the holiday season.

Bob Boerner, Laughlin Squad Leader, and his team selected two families, Frank Maurizio and Ken Godwin, Pahrump Squad Leaders selected one family in their town and Bob Abrams and Dean Ishman chose one family each in the Las Vegas area to help.

The VHRU donated approximately $2,000 from our Treasury to help those families. We hope to continue this worthwhile project this year. In the rear of the room are press releases from Laughlin and Pahrump on these donations. Thanks to all members who assisted with this project.

  • On New Year’s Eve, 18 members assisted Las Vegas Metro PD in performing security at all their substations. This freed up many uniform officers to work the strip for the celebration. The assignment went smoothly with no issues. We will be assisting again this year. Additionally, the Laughlin Team also assisted with security of the Laughlin Sub Station and by doing a patrol function as additional eyes and ears for Metro PD. Thanks to all those who participated.
  • Ted Farace, on his recent trip to Carson City, met with the Chief of Emergency Management and his team to discuss the grant funding for 2007.  The VHRU was approved for funding to continue the mission of our organization. As part of that budget, we will be  purchasing new VHRU hats and other needed equipment for all our members.
  • The State ID card System is down for the next couple of months under going repair and upgrading. Temporary ID Cards have been prepared and sent to those 35 members who did not have a VHRU ID Card. Once the system is up, we will be issuing the permanent cards. We will be changing the back of the ID cards to reflect the new Governor’s Signature (Jim Gibbons). We are exploring the same material the DMV uses to extend existing Driver Licenses (a peal and stick for the back of the license). A similar sticker will be used to extend the date of expiration of the VHRU ID card to 2010.
  • On January 11th, the first kickoff meeting was held on the Laughlin River Run at the Laughlin Sub Station. Bob Boerner, the Laughlin VHRU Squad Leader, Bob Moran and Ted Farace attended. Lt. Smitley, Las Vegas Metro PD has asked for additional VHRU volunteers this year. He is seeking at least 40, up from the 25 we had last year. The volunteers will be doing patrol in unmarked Metro vehicles and other assignments, which will be discussed next month. The Run is set for April 24 to April 29th. 
  • Our Adopt-A-Highway sign is back on Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon. Last week a few members conducted the quarterly cleanup. We will be announcing the next clean up to all members. It takes about 2 hours and is followed by lunch afterwards. More on this in early March.
  • The Board and Core Leaders are looking forward to another great year. We are exploring our participation in a number of public parades as a group to further inform the public of who we are. We will be announcing parade dates so you can plan to attend.    
  • Our assisting Metro PD at various Shopping Malls during the four day NBA event was a success. We had 53 members volunteer at different times and locations. In addition, a number of our members assisted at the two Malls in Henderson working under the Henderson Police Department Citizen Corps. In total, we had 60 members assigned. The Sheriff was informed of our numbers and he was very appreciative for the help.
  • A meeting was held on Friday, February 23rd with Lieutenant Joseph Ojeda from the Las Metro PD Aviation Air Support Unit.  A number of our members have flying and aircraft repair experience and six (6) members have offered to assist Metro. A second meeting is scheduled for April 6th at the Metro hanger at the North Las Vegas Airport to determine how they can use our people. Don Woodmancy, our Mesquite Team Leader, will be the point person on this assignment. If there is anyone else that would like to be considered, please see Don after the meeting.
  • A meeting was arranged by Assistant Sheriff Flynn with Ted Farace and Lieutenant Mike McCrimmon of the Las Vegas Metro PD Emergency Management Unit on February 28, 2007. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how we can get more involved in the Emergency Management area and participate with Metro in all upcoming mock exercises. This comes as a direct result of Sheriff Gillespie’s commitment last month to get us more involved with his department.
  • On Saturday, March 10th, the VHRU Laughlin Team participated in the Laughlin Day Parade. A number of VHRU members from Las Vegas also marched. Our VHRU trailer was used as a tool to advertise our organization during the parade. The VHRU was awarded the “Best Community Service” award by the parade committee, which was a nice honor for our membership. We hope we can get more members from the Las Vegas area to drive down next year to march.
  • State Senator Leahy has proposed a bill to amend the HR 218 to reflect 10 years of law enforcement experience instead of 15 years and allow Amtrak Police to be considered to carry nationwide as well as officers from the executive branch of the Federal Government.  If you are interested in this legislation, the bill is # S 376. The VHRU organization will continue to monitor this proposed change.
  • A bill was submitted by the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association governing the application and renewal for CCW. They propose to raise the cost of a CCW permit from $60.00 to $125.00. Copies of a draft letter that can be sent to the Legislators reviewing this proposed bill and voicing our objection were given to all members attending our General Membership Meeting in February.
  • Ted Farace is seeking to have the Henderson Police and Fire Departments join the VHRU in a mock exercise this year. Included in this exercise would be the Henderson Police Department Citizen Corps. A draft scenario of a mock exercise was put together and submitted to Chief Perkins for his consideration.

Captain Fred Thompson, who is the Homeland Security Officer with the Henderson PD contacted Ted Farace to discuss the VHRU involvement. Captain Thompson indicated his department is working on a mock exercise in the fall along with the Henderson Fire Department and will include the VHRU and the Citizen Corps in his plan. Once the exercise committee is established, the VHRU will be invited to attend those meetings to work out the details on that exercise. More on this once we meet with the PD in Henderson.

  • The Amber Light permit for 2007 was renewed with the Nevada Highway Patrol for those members in the Core Leadership positions. These lights can only be used on official VHRU business. Copies of the permits will be issued to all Core members to be kept in their vehicle.
  • On March 17, the VHRU marched in the City of Henderson St. Patrick’s Day parade. Along with our VHRU Trailer, 28 members represented the organization. As a result of our presence, a number of former law enforcement individuals who saw our unit have inquired about joining the VHRU.

All those who marched were invited to participate in a traditional Corn Beef and Cabbage dinner held that evening.

  • At our April General Membership Meeting we had as our guest speaker, Lieutenant Mike McCrimmon, Las Vegas Metro PD, Homeland Security-Emergency Management Unit. Mike spoke about some suggestions we can assist his unit within the near future. The VHRU Leadership has suggested to Lt. McCrimmon that the VHRU participate in their next Mock Exercise in the fall.
  • The VHRU has contracted a Cabinet Maker and Electrician to complete the installation of shelves, cabinets and electrical outlets in our trailer. These new electrical outlets will give us the capability to store at least 12 hand held radios, which will be on full charge while the trailer is not being used by means of our solar panel. This will make the trailer more useful as a command vehicle with the proper lighting and table space to work inside.
  • We have committed to the Laughlin River Run, 28 members from Vegas and Laughlin volunteering. The VHRU is looking for more volunteers as possible to assist. Members were asked to submit their names to the Core Leadership if interested. The Run starts on 4/25 and ends on 4/28. Hotel rooms and meals will be furnished by Metro PD.
  • A decision has been reached to purchase 12 hand held radios for our communication needs. We have entered into a formal agreement, drafted by Frank Bruton, with the owner of the frequencies to allow the VHRU exclusive use for a three year period. We have agreed to place a short memorial on our web page honoring the father of our donor, Jim Duggan, who was a Metro Police Officer. This will be a way to thank the donor for his generosity.
  • The Core Leadership has selected a new South West “A” Squad Leader, Bill Dwyer to replace Jim Beckham who will be relocating to the Philippines in the near future. Please welcome Bill and thanks to Jim for all his help during his tenure.
  • A new MOU has been prepared between the VHRU and the State of Nevada Emergency Management Division. Our existing MOU expires in June of this year. The new agreement is under review by the State Attorney General’s Office. We hope to have this signed very soon.
  • The Board would like to thank Mesquite Team Leader Don Woodmancy for his effort in preparing the documentation to support our application for recognition under the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program. The VIPS concept is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. If selected, we would be able to send a representative to Washington DC to receive the award.
  • Chief Moody of the Las Vegas Metro PD contacted the VHRU and asked if the VHRU members would like to assist in Investigations. What the Chief needs are volunteers to listen to live and taped calls by inmates awaiting trial for Robbery in an attempt to gleam information. This would be at a Metro facility equipped with the listening devices and recordings. It was suggested to him, if it were possible to take a copy of taped conversations home and listen to outside of the PD. This would give some of our members, who are confined to home, the opportunity to help as well. The Chief thought this was a good idea and would pursue this with the Sheriff. Members interested were asked to see Team Leader Bob Abrams to be put on the list of volunteers for this project.
  • At our May General Membership Meeting we had as our guest speaker, Sgt. Mike Bunker, Las Vegas Metro PD Intelligence Section. Mike and his team handled all the intelligence information during the River Run. Mike, who has close to 35 years on the Las Vegas Metro PD, discussed gang activity of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG).
  • This year’s River Run was a big success for the police and the VHRU. The following is a critique and some suggestions for next year’s Run:

Our suggestions were submitted to Lt. Smitley in Laughlin, which include assisting the VIPER Unit on patrol and identifying stolen bikes, possibility of riding in marked units as the second person thus freeing up one uniformed officer, station our members at the various valet parking areas for motorcycles to identify any OMG members leaving their bikes. Additional suggestions will be forthcoming.

The highlights of the Run are as follows:

  • Only three motorcycles stolen; two were reported which turned out to be fraud.
  • The synergy between our volunteers and the officers in the street was fantastic. Most Officers knew who we were appreciated the assistance when given.
  • Hotel and food was good. The cars we used were in pretty good shape. Our new shell jackets were lighter and more comfortable.  We are looking at suggesting to Metro that we wear polo shirts for next year’s Run.
  • A number of sightings were made by VHRU members of OMG members. This information was passed on to the Intelligence Officers for evaluation.

To summarize, we are looking to increase our presence next year so please keep the River Run in mind and try to offer to volunteer if you possibly can.

  • Henderson Police Department is in the planning stage of a mock exercise to be held in the fall. We, along with the Henderson Citizen Corps, have been invited to participate.

A kickoff meeting was held on Monday, May 21 at the Henderson Police Department. I would like to have Squad Leader, Steve Dawson come up and give us an overview of the exercise. Steve would also like to discuss his role as the Coordinator of the Henderson PD Citizen Corps and some help he needs going forward if anyone is interested.

  • Sheriff Doug Gillespie, LV Metro signed off on our write up for consideration for an award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACPA). The documentation was submitted on 5/10/07. As soon as we hear something you will be advised of the outcome. Thanks again to Don Woodmancy for putting the documentation together.
  • Capital Police Chief Brad Valladon has contacted me once again to request I circulate information regarding open Capital Police positions. You must be POST certified to apply. If anyone is interested, please see Ted Farace for more details.
  • The retrofit of our VHRU trailer has been completed. We now can organize our equipment and have it ready if activated. Our two hand held police radios, one from Metro and the other from Henderson PD, can be fully charged and ready for use. Our solar panel will be able to supply enough voltage to handle these as well as all the other chargeable equipment we have, i.e. outside lights, hand held lights and soon our new two way radios. These new radios are expected   in the very near future.
  • Adopt-A-Highway cleanup time again. The Core Leadership has handled this but some members expressed an interest in helping. Please let Billy White know if you want to help. The date for the clean up is set for Friday, June 15th at 10am. Those who have the time to assist will meet for coffee and proceed to the road to do the cleanup and then have lunch afterwards. It should take about 3 hours.
  • We have so many members in Laughlin, a second Squad has been created. Bob Petrusek has offered to be the new “B” Squad Leader. Thanks to Bob for offering to help.
  • The Las Vegas Metro PD Emergency Management has asked our help in distributing Homeland Security Pamphlets. Each box contains 175 pamphlets and we are asking that each member take a least two boxes to distribute. We have already given out 75 boxes to some members who are in the process of delivering them to an appropriate location for distribution to the community. Your help in this project will be appreciated. You can pick up the two boxes outside the Italian American Club after the meeting. We need to keep a list of where these pamphlets were placed, which will be sent to the Las Vegas Metro PD for their records. Supermarkets, church organizations, homeowner associations etc. are a good place to distribute these pamphlets. Ass of this date we have distributed over 11,000 pamphlets. We anticipate doing the balance (11,000) of the pamphlets over the next month.
  • We have once again made some donations to individual organizations that are law enforcement related. The John Bailey Memorial Fund (FBI agent killed in Las Vegas a few years ago) and the Jacob Musser Fund established to help the son of a Corrections Officer in Mesquite who is autistic. We will this yea, as in the past year, help families in Pahrump, Laughlin and Las Vegas/Henderson who need assistance during the holiday season.
  • We had the opportunity to visit and tour the new “Fusion Center”.

Lt.  Mike McCrimmon Las Vegas Metro hosted the tour and explained Metro’s role and how we, the VHRU, could help.

A Fusion Center is defined as “a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and for information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend and respond to criminal activity and terrorist activity”. This new Las Vegas center will be staffed by representatives from every law enforcement agency in the State.

Lt. McCrimmon has asked if the VHRU would be willing to assist with staffing the main entrance to provide security and screening for those entering the premises. This is a great way for the VHRU
to get involved plus it will give us exposure to everyone entering. We can be uniformed, wearing our VHRU shirts to add to our
identification. A number of our members volunteered to staff this
desk for 4 hour tours, Monday to Friday. Additional members are on standby as backups if needed.

  • Our Treasurer solicited Sam’s Club again and did receive another $1,000 donation. Thanks to Frank Bruton for his good work. We are in the process of sending out letters to see if we can solicit more donations.
  • The members of the VHRU have distributed the Homeland Security booklets prepared by Las Vegas Metro PD. Approximately 60,000 copies were given out in Clark County. Thanks to all our members for their help with this project.
  • The Pahrump Team, led by Squad Leader Frank Maurizio, has begun a project of obtaining old discarded or found bicycles turned into the Nye County Sheriff’s office. These bicycles are then refurbished by Frank and donated back to children in that community and in Las Vegas. Thanks to Frank for undertaking this worthwhile project on behalf of the VHRU organization.
  • The Core Leadership has approved the VHRU to join the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce as a not for profit corporation. The cost is $499.00 but the expenditure will give us exposure to many corporations that we can solicit for donations etc. Once we are on their website, you will be advised.
  • A mock exercise in Henderson is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, 2007. It is important that we have a good showing for this exercise. Food will be provided by the VHRU for all attending. As we get closer to the date, more details on this exercise will be presented to the members. Please mark your calendar to insure you can participate. We are hoping to turn out at least 75 volunteers. The Henderson PD Citizen Corps will also participate.
  • There was a kickoff meeting with Las Vegas Metro PD on July 18th in which the VHRU was represented. Metro PD is  asking us, once again, to provide security for the 8 commands. Last year we had 25 members volunteer. Please consider helping this year. 
  • The annual Law Enforcement Holiday party will be on Saturday, December 1st at the Boulder Station Hotel Casino. Please mark your calendars. More details at our next General Membership Meeting.
  • The New York Police organization, Las Vegas Ten 13 club will have its annual remembrance on September 11th at the Police Memorial behind the Metro Police Academy on West Cheyenne Avenue. The short service, which starts at 10 am, will be followed by a complimentary breakfast for all those attending at the Original Pancake House near Lake Meade and Cheyenne. We hope to see as many VHRU members as possible attend.
  • In the past, we have participated with the Henderson Police Department in Henderson for the National Night Out. This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, August 8th starting at 7 pm. The location is the Galleria Mall. We will have our trailer and we will set up a table to hand out VHRU flyers and also assist the Henderson Police during this event. If you are interested, please see Charlie Licata so we can get a list of names.
  • Our new nylon reflector vests are in and will be delivered to Metro to have them sew on our patch and identifier on the back. These new vests have a front pocket, which we know a lot of our members wanted. Unfortunately, they only come with silver reflector strips instead of red. These will be issued to our new members once they are finished.
  • The President  was contacted the other day by the Nye County Emergency Manager. He heard about our group and asked for a meeting to discuss how we can assist in Nye County. The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, August 29th.  At this meeting it was discussed and agreed that Nye County would allow us to place a repeater on their new communication tower so the new hand held radios will work in that part of the State. We will be following up with Metro in Laughlin to gain their support and the use of their communications tower. We will also talk with the Mesquite Police Department for the same purpose.
  • Squad Leader Bill Dwyer and Ted Farace met with the Director of the Fingerprint Bureau to go over the printing of our members. One of our members brought to our attention that he was issued a temporary Homeland Reserve ID Card.  It was agreed with Metro that this card was made in error and no other ID cards will be issued to a VHRU member.
  • Ken Godwin, Pahrump Team Leader, has confirmed that we have a table at the next Gun Show at Cashman Center on 9/1 to 9/3. We have enough people to man the table. Our pamphlet will be given out to those interested. We hope to recruit more members.
  • A letter was sent to Sheriff Gillespie inviting him and Assistant Sheriff Flynn to our September meeting. At that meeting, we will be presenting to both “Certificates of Honorary Lifetime Membership in the VHRU” for their help with the interaction between the VHRU and Metro PD. We also plan on a Core Leaders’ luncheon in Laughlin to honor Lt Smitley and Sergeant Shalhoob. In the future we will be adding another page to our web site, “Honorary Members”. It will be designed with pictures of the recipients.
  • Chief Perkins of the Henderson Police Department has signed an extension to our MOU. The MOU Agreement now runs through 2011. In addition, the agreement for Adopt-A-Highway program was renewed with DOT, also to 2011.
  • At the October General Membership Meeting we had the honor of having as our guests, Richard Perkins, Chief of Police, City of Henderson Police Department and James White, Deputy Chief, City of Henderson Police Department.

Both individuals were presented certificates of “Lifetime Honorary Membership” in the VHRU. The Board of the VHRU recognizes all the support they have given our organization over the past few years, which has made the VHRU a successful volunteer group.

  • Las Vegas Metro has approached our organization for volunteers to assist their Fingerprint Bureau, which is located at Cameron Street. Preliminary meetings were held with their management and they will need volunteers to staff the front window assisting people coming to be printed etc. Also mentioned, administrative duties inside the CCW area. As of today, we have 18 volunteers who will help in two tours, 8 x 12 and 12 x 16 Monday thru Friday.  This project could start in January.
  • The Metro Fusion Center assignment will be going into the 20th week of VHRU coverage. Our record for attendance is outstanding; we only missed 20 hrs of coverage and gave 780 hrs of our time.

A meeting will be held prior to the end of the year to discuss coverage in 2008. Thanks go to all those dedicated members who have covered this position.

  • We are planning meetings in December with Metro’s Emergency Management Unit. The purpose of these meetings are to become more involved with that unit, especially in planned Homeland Security mock exercises upcoming in 2008.
  • New Year’s Eve is approaching and we need to know who will be covering the various Metro PD substations once again this year. We have a number of volunteers already and if you haven’t offered, please let your Team or Squad know that you are interested If you volunteered last year we will do our best to place you at the same location as in the past.
  • The VHRU will again donated money to needy families in Mesquite, Pahrump, Laughlin and Vegas. This will be our second year, which is rewarding and a great experience. Thanks to Bob Boerner, Laughlin, Ken Godwin, Pahrump, Don Woodmancy, Mesquite and Dean Ishman, Las Vegas for their help in identifying the families.
  • On behalf of the Board and the Core Leaders, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during 2007. We have achieved a lot this past year and we look forward to a very successful 2008.

Ted Farace


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