LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — While Gov. Sisolak issues orders on what businesses need to close and when, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department is one of the agencies that enforces.
Lt. Nate Chio is with the Special Investigations Section and they’re responsible for making sure businesses are complying with the rules. He said they’ve already received more than 300 calls reporting businesses that are not complying. In their first weekend of enforcement, they visited 113 businesses, suspended seven business licenses and issued four citations for stores that refused to close.
Lt. Chio said those citations are a last resort. He said most businesses have listened when told to close and he advises everyone to self-close, because the rules are always changing.
Businesses like furniture stores and landscaping stores have been deemed essential, plus alcohol is now allowed to be sold by restaurants with their to-go food orders. He said there’s always the possibility of the shut-down ending early or the list of essential stores to change, but a business would not be able to reopen if it was shut down by the county or city, so it’s best to follow the rules and self-close.
He also pointed out that while nonessential businesses need to stay closed to the public, employees can still work if it’s done in a safe way.
“So even if you’re a nonessential business and you need to go to your business to conduct inventory or provide security or do whatever you need to do inside your own business, that is perfectly fine. You are not technically open to the public, which is what we’re trying to prevent,” he said.
Lt. Chio said LVMPD is working with other cities to make sure enforcement is the same in all areas.
A spokesperson for the city of Henderson said they have not had to involve police yet. In Henderson, the City issues a correction notice for a first violation then a $500 fee and then they suspend or revoke the business license.
A spokesperson for the city of North Las Vegas said they started with phone calls and emails to businesses, making 8,000 phone calls in total. In the first week, the city received 29 complains about uncooperative businesses and visited almost 500 businesses, issuing 17 warning. No citations were issued and no licenses were suspended or revoked.
If someone wants to report a business that has not closed but should, they cal call 311. If business owners have questions on their status, they can call Clark County at 702-455-0174, the City of Las Vegas at 702-229-6281 or the office of the Attorney General at 702-486-3420.