City leaders raise concerns over LVPD involvement in political parade

City leaders raise concerns over LVPD involvement in political parade

From the Las Vegas Optic

Las Vegas police officers escorted a parade supporting President Donald Trump through the streets of Las Vegas Saturday. The escort was authorized by top members of the Las Vegas Police Department, but some city leaders are voicing concerns about that decision.

City Councilor David Romero told the Optic his main concern is possible violations of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits city employees from using their “official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election.”

“That’s my concern. We’re walking that fine line of breaking the Hatch Act,” Romero said. “If (employees) want to do that on their own private time, that’s different. But when you’re in a police car and you’re on duty, then that’s a completely different situation.”

Councilor Elaine Rodriquez said she had a number of people contact her after seeing the police-led parade. Some raised similar concerns about city police officers participating in a partisan political event, while others expressed frustrations about not being notified ahead of time that a parade would take place.

“If (parade organizers) get a permit, then they usually put it in the newspaper that there’s going to be a parade,” Rodriquez said. “That allows residents to avoid those areas so they don’t get stopped in traffic.”

Mayor Louie Trujillo confirmed that organizers of Saturday’s parade never applied for or received a permit, something he said is required by any group wanting to host a parade.

“That’s only to secure city resources,” he said. “If we have to block a street, (provide) traffic control, alert pedestrians, we have to know. The reason you have to get permitted is that permit goes to the fire department, it goes to the police department, it goes to the streets department, so that everybody is prepared for that.”