Nevada Highway Patrol Helps Police Stem Violence on Las Vegas Strip

Posted on: October 19, 2020, 01:02h. 

Last updated on: October 19, 2020, 02:21h.

The Nevada Highway Patrol is helping the Las Vegas police department in a recent crackdown on crime in hopes to quell violence at Strip casinos, .

Miracle Mile Shops
Police tape marks off the area on the Las Vegas Strip where a man recently was shot in the leg. The Highway Patrol is helping local police crackdown on crime at Strip casinos. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has beefed up its patrols in the tourist areas by about 20 percent during the nighttime hours from Thursdays through Saturdays, Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Friday and Saturday nights are the “bewitching hours,” he said.

Lombardo is the elected sheriff overseeing the combined city-county police department, known locally as Metro. The Strip is outside Las Vegas city limits.

Several people recently have been wounded in shootings at or near resorts on the Strip.

The police department has received help from the Highway Patrol in addressing the violence. The police department refers to this effort as Operation Persistent Pressure. Trooper Jason Buratczuk told KSNV-TV the Highway Patrol is focusing on traffic stops so Metro officers can spend more time on foot.

It really frees Metro up to walk the Strip, have more officers interacting with people, making more contacts with the public,” Buratczuk told the television station.

The Highway Patrol’s assistance is paying off, Buratczuk said.

“We’re getting guns, fraud materials, narcotics, stolen vehicles,” the trooper told KSNV-TV.

Recent Gang Violence

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos and most other businesses statewide to close. He allowed casinos to reopen on June 4. As the resorts on the Strip began operating again, the number of violent incidents increased.

A recent example occurred on Oct. 11 in a shooting near the Miracle Mile Shops. This incident, which took place during a narcotics transaction, left one man hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the leg, police said. An eyewitness captured the shooting on video. The profanity-laced video later was posted on the KSNV-TV website.

The Miracle Mile Shops, which reopened June 9, are connected to the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino. Planet Hollywood is the most recent hotel-casino to begin operating again on the Strip. It reopened Oct. 8.

Police have said out-of-state gangs and visitors are responsible for “a good portion” of the recent violence on the Strip and nearby tourist areas.

In-House Security

In response to this violence, resorts on the Strip are beefing up their own in-house security measures.

Guards at the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino and the two Wynn Resorts properties — the Encore and Wynn Las Vegas — are scanning guests with metal detectors and checking handheld bags. These properties also have added an additional number of security officers.

A fight at the Encore hotel-casino in early September caused an estimated $15,000 in damage to the property. A company spokesperson said Wynn Resorts would raise room rates and step up its security efforts.

Citing a lack of consumer demand, the Encore also is temporarily shutting down its hotel and casino during the middle of the week. Until demand increases, the resort only will be open Thursdays from 2 pm until Mondays at noon.