NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — North Las Vegas has a new police chief.
The city manager announced the promotion of Assistant Chief Jacqueline Gravatt, a 20-year veteran of the department, on Monday. Capt. Michael Harris, another 20-year department veteran, was promoted to serve as Gravatt's assistant chief.
Joining the North Las Vegas Police Department in September of 2001, Gravatt was the first African-American woman to serve as a NLVPD patrol officer, the city said in a press release. She and Harris have "been key in developing and expanding community policing and citizen engagement initiatives that have helped bring North Las Vegas' crime rate down 35 percent from a decade ago," according to city leaders.
City officials selected Gravatt for the job because they "quickly recognized her potential and capacity to innovate within our police department," North Las Vegas city manager Ryann Juden stated.
"It is an honor to lead this department that has been my home for the past 20 years," Gravatt stated in the prepared release.
"To be able to help grow the next generation of leaders and helpers is an incredible privilege, one Assistant Chief Harris and I take very seriously. Our officers and civilian team members do an amazing job, they go out every day with such heart and commitment to service, and you've seen the results."
Gravatt was appointed acting police chief in January after former Chief Pamela Ojeda retired after a 26-year career. Before that, Gravatt was assistant chief and has previously supervised multiple divisions of NLVPD, including patrol, the detective division, internal affairs and operations, officials said.
Harris joined NLVPD in February of 2002 as a patrol officer, and previously served as captain of the Operations Support Command. In that role, he oversaw training, recruiting, crime analysis, community engagement and community-oriented policing, city officials said. In two decades with North Las Vegas Police, Harris has also been assigned to the department's patrol, SWAT, traffic, training and narcotics divisions. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Nevada Army National Guard.
“This is such an exciting time to be a part of the North Las Vegas Police Department,” Harris stated in the prepared release. “As we grow to meet the needs of our growing community, new recruits are seeking out our Department to be able to serve in such a proactive and engaged environment, where constituents come first and we can be out in the community assisting and keeping people and property safe.”