LVMPD: Active weekend presence on the Strip deters rowdy behavior, criminal activity
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Las Vegas Metropolitan Police gave FOX5 an inside look at the ramped-up presence on Las Vegas Boulevard on busy holiday weekends, all to deter rowdy behavior from crowds and any attempts at criminal activity.
Labor Day weekend bring throngs of tourists to the Strip. Captain Stephen Connell of Convention Center Area Command told FOX5 about what’s been done over the past year to crack down on crime to make the Strip safer, tourists feel safer and decrease crime incidents by double digits from 2022 to now.
FOX5 paid a visit on Friday to the large presence outside Planet Hollywood, where officers set up a mobile booking station. Connell explains the reasoning for positioning a large presence with officers and numerous vehicles along the epicenter of the Strip.
“The tourists actually think it’s great, they come talk to us. But what it really does is claim that ground. That whole stretch of Bellagio, down past Cosmo up to the Flamingo --that overwhelming presence--there’s not much that goes on when we’re out there like that,” Connell said.
Connell said on holiday weekends, officers look for specific criminal activity: groups of pickpockets coming into town that try to prey on unsuspecting tourists. Connell said he works with leaders of security at various resorts to alert them about any gathered intelligence; that way, resort security can keep an eye out for guests, particularly in places like nightclubs where visitors may be distracted in the dark.
Police also look out for youth offenders who may belong to gangs walking on Las Vegas Boulevard. If any groups engage in yelling or flashing signs, Connell said officers monitor them to deter or intervene in any rowdy behavior.
Connell said foot patrols across the Boulevard are key to deterring crime. “Officers on foot patrol--if you’re walking, if you’re stopping somebody talking to somebody in the mid-block, you’ve claimed that block, the more cops you put, how about doing that, the less crime is going to happen. And then obviously, if crime does happen, you’re in a position to take action,” he said.
Similar strategies are used on busy concert weekends, like when Beyonce headlined at Allegiant Stadium. Patrols greet crowds as they enter and exit the stadium to deter pickpockets or rowdy activity.
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