North Las Vegas Police meet with community to discuss violence

Chief Ojeda introduced a new program that the department will be rolling out under her tenure. The campaign is called “E.N.D. Violence.”

On Tuesday, the North Las Vegas Police Department hosted a meeting at City Hall with several community leaders and people who live there to discuss the recent string of violence involving juveniles in the city.

“We wanted to stop, not necessarily the rumors, but everything that was going around that this was an entire gang problem when in fact, one of them was that we can positively say, was a gang-related shooting,” NLVPD Chief Pamela Ojeda said.

This meeting came a week after another community meeting with police, where people were told the department was not going to answer questions regarding the uptick in violence in the city in November.

Chief Ojeda introduced a new program that the department will be rolling out under her tenure.

She took over as police chief during a series of shootings involving juveniles as both the victims and suspects. Three juveniles are dead as a result of the shootings, two more were shot and injured.

The campaign is called “E.N.D. Violence.”

“What that stands for is engaging our community partners, new technology for our department, and also, dedicating resources throughout the city,” Ojeda said.

Some of those new resources include more officers in uniform on the streets, 13 new officers hitting the streets this month, and additional marked patrol cars, Ojeda explained during her presentation. She continued to add that some of those additional resources will be deployed in northern parts of the city.

“Perception is everything,” Ojeda said. “They’re going to see more visibility, they’re going to see more marked units in that area.”

Erik Huey was at both meetings. He says he was disappointed they didn’t address the shootings during last week’s meeting.

“It was long overdue. Extremely long overdue,” Huey said. “I’m glad it happened, it should have happened a lot sooner than this.”

He says his entire family is nervous because of the shootings. As a former teacher, he says the number of juveniles involved in them is a serious problem that needs to be fixed – from more than just a law enforcement angle.

“They need to see that violence is not the answer, but education and a structured environment is the answer,” he said. “Let’s get the kids some sort of structure that they’re exposed to in school, so they can stay off the streets and away from violence.”

A few lawmakers and other law enforcement officials were present at the meeting as well and took questions from the audience.

he questions ranged from how parents can and should be getting involved, to the topic of guns on school campuses, as well as a few discussions on how the nature of gangs are changing with social media.

Law enforcement officials at the meeting stressed the importance of community policing as well and explained they hope that parents will also be more involved in their children’s’ lives.

For example, they said they hope parents will pay a bit more attention to their kids’ social media profiles, as they’re often posting on them non-stop.

Huey says he thinks this meeting was a step in the right direction, but he’d like more updates from police in the months to come to learn about the department’s progress.

“It’s baby steps. But it’s going to take a team effort, it’s going to take a true partnership for us to take our community back,” he said. “I would like to hear back from the chief in, say, 30 or 60 days, and get kind of a status report to see how things are. I have high hopes for the new police chief, let’s see what happens.”

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