The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (also known as the LVMPD or Metro) is an independent agency and a joint city-county police force for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. It is headed by the Sheriff of Clark County, elected every four years. The current Sheriff of Clark County is Joe Lombardo, who became sheriff on January 5, 2015. The sheriff is the only elected head law enforcement officer within the county, and, as such, the department is not under the direct control of the city, county, or state.
In the early 1970s, both the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Department struggled with jurisdictional and budgetary problems. Oftentimes, people living in the metropolitan area would call the wrong agency to report crimes in progress, which would delay police response. Both agencies were also strapped for manpower, yet used a lot of it duplicating record-keeping and administrative functions in both of the agencies.
The idea of consolidating the two law enforcement agencies into one metropolitan department began to circulate among the top officials in both agencies, likely due to the close working relationship between the Clark County Sheriff and the Las Vegas Police Chief at that time. It was said that even police officers on the Las Vegas Police Department could see that it would be better if the agency were run by the Sheriff, due to the fact that he was an elected official. Legislation to merge the Las Vegas Police Department with the Clark County Sheriff's Department was passed by the Nevada State Legislature, and the merger became effective in 1973.
The North Las Vegas Police Department (NLVPD) is the police department of the City of North Las Vegas in Clark County in southern Nevada. Although North Las Vegas and Las Vegas are part of the same metropolitan area, share city limit boundaries, and are within Clark County, NLVPD is not part of the larger Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
NLVPD was established in 1946 to serve the growing community of North Las Vegas, which at that time consisted of four square miles and had a population of around 3,000. Since then, NLVPD has grown dramatically to keep pace with the growth of North Las Vegas and the rest of Clark County. As of 2016, NLVPD provided law enforcement services to an area of 100.48 square miles (260.2 km2) and a population of approximately 233,808 citizens.
As of July 2016 NLVPD had 309 commissioned personnel (Police and Detention Officers) and 106 civilian support personnel. The agency grew rapidly, adding 150 officers during the period 2006-2009. However, the number of personnel has been reduced by the financial crisis that began in 2009. In 2004 NLVPD created a website to promote recruiting, JoinNLVPD.com.