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Posted: 2/24/2006 10:05:06 AM EDT
Las Vegas Police Given $100,000 Rifle Money From Anonymous Donor


Updated: February 24th, 2006 10:30 AM EDT



LAWRENCE MOWER
Las Vegas Review-Journal



Recent shootouts in which Las Vegas police officers faced suspects carrying more powerful weapons have prompted an anonymous individual to donate $100,000 to equip officers with assault rifles.

After the Feb. 1 death of Las Vegas police Sgt. Henry Prendes, several members of the community promised to donate money to equip police officers with more powerful weapons, officials said.

The $100,000 donation, which the donor intends be used to equip squad cars with assault rifles, was the first received by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation, said Paul Page, treasurer of the nonprofit organization, which is separate from the Police Department.

Prendes was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call when Amir Crump opened fire with a semiautomatic assault rifle modeled after the AK-47. He killed Prendes, then held police at bay as he peppered the cars shielding them with dozens of rounds. It wasn't until an officer with the gang crimes unit arrived with an assault rifle that police turned the tide of the gunbattle and killed Crump.

The incident prompted Sheriff Bill Young to evaluate the department's policies regarding the availability of assault rifles for patrol officers.


Currently, officers may carry assault rifles in their patrol cars if they purchase the weapons with their own money and undergo training in their use, Undersheriff Doug Gillespie said.

Department officials now must decide what weapons to buy using the donated funds, Gillespie said.

Officials said they should reach a decision within two weeks, and the weapons will only be made available to officers who want them.

Gillespie said the $100,000 contribution was made by a "very generous" individual who wished to remain anonymous. Only Gillespie, Young and the foundation's board of directors know who the donor is, he said.

But Craig Walton, president of the Nevada Center for Public Ethics, said such offers - in which the police department knows who the donor is - could create ethical conundrums if the donor ever becomes the subject of a police investigation.

"It's a very nice thing," he said. "These people read the newspaper and were concerned about Sergeant Prendes. So someone decided to step in and solve the problem" of police being outgunned.

But, Walton said, "you don't want to set up the risk" of a potential conflict.

Walton said a double-blind transaction, in which someone donates to a third party who then passes the money to the police department, would be a better way of transferring the funds.

Page said the donation would have no bearing on future investigative decisions.

"I've never been contacted by anyone in the Police Department asking, 'Who made this donation?' " Page said.

The police foundation screens donations, Page said. He said he has had discussions with the foundation's board about rejecting some offers. The foundation hasn't turned away any money yet, he said.

"We wouldn't take anybody's money if they were just dangling it in front of our faces," he said.

Gillespie said the process has "a fair amount of checks and balances" to ensure that a donation made by an unethical or criminal individual is not accepted.

Walton said the intentions of the donor and the police are good and that the potential for future conflicts of interest is very small.

Page said the donation was unusual only because of its size. Donors frequently request to be anonymous and choose to donate to a certain department or cause, such as the K-9 unit.

Those interested in donating to Las Vegas police can do so at www.lvmpdfoundation.org.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:23:17 AM EDT
just doin my part.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:27:06 AM EDT
Give credit where credit is due... Anytime gents, anytime...
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:30:13 AM EDT
So that will equip 100 officers with Ar-15s and mags and some ammo.

Awsome.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:30:45 AM EDT
way to go wayne!
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:32:04 AM EDT
GOOD!

I wish more people with the fianancial resources would do things like this
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:35:48 AM EDT
That's very cool.

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:39:39 AM EDT
+1. Thats great!
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:50:20 AM EDT
Sounds like common sense to me...
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 10:54:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
GOOD!

I wish more people with the fianancial resources would do things like this



One interesting story from work a few years back. A small business owner called a patrol Sgt to complain about the service he received from the officers who responded to a call at his business. His perception was the officers were lazy. He didnt realize that was his mistook for lazyness was simply prioritizing calls for service and not getting bogged down on minor, often non criminal, incidents when there were serious life threatining calls happeneing at ther same time. The Patrol Sgt convinced the business owner to go on a ride-a-long with one of the officers for a shift on a weekend night. They had a robbery call that night, a couple Drunk driving collisions, several bar fights, a suicide attempt, and the typical endless false burglar alarms and late property crimes calls. At the end of the shift the business owner had a whole new perspective on both the department, and the city he lived and worked in. He simply had no idea just how busy the cops in his city were or what the criminal activity in his city was like. He had greatly underestimated the criminal activity in the city, and becuase of that, thought his earlier call for service was a bigger deal than it really was. The next day he donated $25,000.00 to the department to buy equipment for the officers assigned to his city. The money was used to buy Laptops for report writing and rechargable flashlights for the patrol cars. The business owner is now one of the strongest advocates for the department at city coundsi meetings and such.
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