Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says they have met their goal of filling 600 police officer positions but command staff says more officers are needed to keep pace with population growth.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo and his department announced a lofty goal of filling the positions within 18 months beginning in March 2017.
At the end of this month, command staff says they have reached their goal.
“We reached 600 and we’re going to keep going," said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Deputy Chief John McGrath.
“More people are moving here, more businesses are coming here, so we’re trying to keep that ratio of officer to population at the same level that were looking for," said McGrath.
According to McGrath, the department is striving for 2 officers per 1,000 residents.
The Las Vegas Police Protective Association, or LVPPA, says union membership has increased.
"Last year at this time we were at about 2,524 members and now we’re at 2,886 so we have increased by 360," said Steve Grammas, President of the LVPPA.
Grammas says on average the department loses between 100 and 125 officers every year due to retirement, promotions and other attrition factors.
Contact 13 has learned the department no longer requires an "oral board" as part of the hiring process.
"I think it was some fairly simple questions about off-duty conduct, what would you do when youre at work, integrity questions," said Grammas.
"It wasn't a huge barometer on how well you do being a cop as it was just trying to get to know you a bit more," added Grammas.
An internet search shows the physical fitness requirements have changed in the past 10 years:
- Vertical Jump - Minimum of a 15 inch jump.
- Agility Run - Completed start to finish in 19.5 seconds or less.
- Sit Up – 30 correct repetitions in 1 minute.
- Push Up – 23 correct repetitions with no time limit.
- 300 Meter Run – Completed start to finish in 68 seconds or less.
- 1.5 Mile Run – Completed start to finish in 16 minutes 57 seconds or less.
- Jamar Grip strength - You hold a device that you squeeze and it measures the pressure. They give you a chance to do both arms if you don't get the first one (so you get 2 tries total). You must have the correct form. Keep your elbow tucked in and squeeze as hard as you can.
- Bend, Twist, and Touch - You have to keep both of your feet on the ground while bending down, touching the ground and then coming up and twisting to each side while touching the X that is behind you.
- 100 yard dash - You run as fast as you can for 100 yards.
- Pushups-- You must do 24 push ups in no time limit. However, if you rest, you have to rest in the up position.
- Situps -You have to do 32 situps in 1 minute. Your hands must be interlocked behind your head and elbows must touch your knees when you go up.
- 1 Mile Run - You must do the mile run in 10 mins 39 secs.
Even with the changes, Grammas says the department is turning out excellent officers.
“I haven’t had any issues with the new officers since the more cops tax has been passed," said Grammas.
"I haven’t had any member saying, 'oh man this is someone we don’t want here,'“ added Grammas.
Las Vegas police have 100 more individuals going through the academy by of the end of June.
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