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Clark County School District police actions at injured officer charity event called into question

Posted: 5:55 PM, Dec 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 06:22:30Z
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Clark County School District Police cross line at golf event
Clark County School District Police cross line at golf event
Clark County School District Police cross line at golf event

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There are a lot of excellent school police officers doing their best every day to protect kids, staff and schools.

But a recent rash of bad and even criminal behavior is forcing the scandal-plagued department back into the spotlight.

And as 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears reports, it's a place they don't want to be.

"Sgt. Maciszak, can I have a moment of your time? Sergeant Maciszak? Can you tell me why no one from the department wants to talk about an injured officer?" Darcy Spears asked at a recent school board meeting. But CCSDPD Sgt. Mitch Maciszak walked away amid the questions, disappearing behind a back office door.

The event that led up to that door being closed in Spears' face is the last thing you'd expect at a charity event to honor fallen and injured police officers.

Two people separately called 911 about a traumatic injury on November 19 at Bali Hai golf club during the Injured Police Officers Fund's annual "Heroes live forever" golf classic--an event attended by law enforcement personnel from multiple departments, including Clark County school police.

911 audio recordings obtained by 13Investigates include a male and female caller and an AMR ambulance driver speaking to 911 dispatchers and UMC hospital's trauma ward.

The callers describe how CCSD Police Officer and Union Vice President Ron Vance fell off the back of a golf cart, striking his head on the concrete ground.

Vance is described as conscious but unresponsive and barely breathing, with serious bleeding from the head.

Multiple sources identified the golf cart driver as detective and union president Matt Caldwell.

IPOF confirms alcohol being served at the event by bartenders from the Sapphire strip club, but we don't know whether Caldwell himself had been drinking. He refused to go on camera and when asked about that over the phone, he said he had no comment.

We do know that the injured officer had been drinking.

The AMR paramedic on the phone with UMC Trauma describes "positive LOC (level of consciousness), also positive amount of ETOH on board as well."

ETOH is an acronym for ethyl alcohol. The abbreviation is most commonly used in the medical community as a way of referring to someone's blood alcohol concentration. It's also an EMS term for intoxicated.

"It was a golf tournament. I don't think it was designed to be a drinking tournament," said Former School Police Union President/Sergeant Erik Aldays, now retired.

Aldays was on the school police force in 2015 when other school police officers crashed a golf cart and one officer's arm was injured at the very same event.

"Some of the people that were present had too much to drink and someone was injured as a result of that. And there was some property damage as a result of that," Aldays said, referring to a golf cart.

Aldays said the district failed to investigate then, but our new superintendent says that's not the case now.

"Certainly there's going to be an accountability factor because this is something that I can't tolerate," said CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara, confirming that the district is investigating.

Officer Vance's head injury landed him in intensive care at UMC. He has still not returned to work and declined to comment for this story, as did every other school police officer we reached, including Chief James Ketsaa, who did not return multiple calls.

"I think the truth will come out. You'll see," said outgoing Trustee Kevin Child, who's been briefed on the situation.

"What do you expect in terms of the way these officers conduct themselves on and off campus?" Spears asked.

"Well, remember they're human beings," Child said, "but they are held to a different standard. Maybe we have to look at a different policy to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

Superintendent Jara said he expects all employees to conduct themselves appropriately at all times when they're being compensated by CCSD.

For the golf tournament, the district said Officer Vance and other union officials took what's called an "Association business day"--taxpayer-funded time that's supposed to be used to conduct union business.

"I have a meeting with the chief--Chief Ketsaa--and we're going to meet and really get down and start looking at what we are doing," Jara said.

Retired Sgt. Aldays says the department's silence so far is part of a long-standing school police culture of cover-up and corruption.

"If there's a problem, you circle the wagons, you deny, you hide, you don't say anything."

This is just the latest in a long line of school police scandals.

Previous investigations:

CCSD police sergeant arrested, charged with theft

CCSD cop caught masturbating at middle school gets promoted

CCSD Police's dirty secret

School police investigator under investigation

Disgraced CCSD cop keeps job

Cover-up in CCSD police department after deadly DUI crash

Officials respond to CCSD police cover-up

Clark County School District cop reinstated despite DUI, battery convictions

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