LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas police have seen an increase in violence on the Las Vegas Strip since casinos reopened during the pandemic.
Deputy Chief Andy Walsh with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said a combination of cheap hotel rooms and the pandemic have contributed to the recent surge in violent incidents.
Deputy Walsh added that casinos are taking a more aggressive approach with security and that it's paying dividends.
While police have seen more Strip violence, overall crime has been down. Violent crimes in LVMPD's jurisdiction are down nearly 4% and crime in general is down 16%, said Walsh.
Walsh said he is amazed with the recent crime statistics, considering Las Vegas has the highest unemployment rate and economic conditions as a state are not much better.
He said when you see the tone of everything, that they have to have a sense of awareness that this election is different.
He said they are working with the Secretary of State’s office to head off any voter intimidation or protests that may follow the election.
Walsh said they are aware that there may be poll watchers working for a specific campaign, but he wanted voters to know that if they see a Metro officer at any polling location, they are there simply to ensure people’s right to vote and that they feel no intimidation.
Walsh also said one of the challenges is all the early voting sites and how spread out they are, but the overarching goal is people who vote feel safe doing it.