Neighborhood barricades keep Las Vegas police busy

LAS VEGAS - There have been two major police barricades in the Las Vegas valley in less than 24 hours and both triggered massive police responses and closed roads.

The most recent, Monday morning, involved a man inside a town home with two small children. The previous evening, there was an hours-long standoff at a funeral home that ended with a man shooting himself in the shoulder.

Barricades are treated like other emergencies. Police take no chances, especially when hostages are involved or suspects are believed to be armed.

"If there's no hostages, there's no reason to make entry because you may be forced to shoot that person or you may have one of your own people get shot," said former Henderson Police Chief Tommy Burns

In addition, police activity can trigger road closures and evacuations which require a lot of manpower.

While some barricades end quickly and peacefully with a suspect being taken into custody, others can be very disruptive forcing neighbors out of their homes.

Barricade situations usually tie up police officers for hours which causes a ripple effect.

"You've now created a void from where ever they came from. Now you have to call people in to take up that void," said Burns.

He says not only do resources have to be shifted but additional crews have to be added.

"It can drain your resources and if it goes on and on, you have to bring in more people to relieve the people who are there cause you want people to stay sharp, especially SWAT teams."

And the longer a barricade goes continues, the more money it costs. Burns says it can be anywhere between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Any of these situations are very very expensive."

Last month alone, 8 News NOW crews were at seven barricades in metro's jurisdiction. At least four incidents involved children hostages.

Just two weeks ago, officers were forced to shoot and kill a suspect holding up a 4-year-old child.

In another case, negotiators begged a suicidal teen to surrender, but he ended up taking his own life. Burns says the goal is to convince suspects to surrender peacefully.

"The situation now, they're always going to -- nine times out of 10 -- going to back out to avoid a lethal confrontation," Jones said.

While there's no rhyme or reason why barricades happen, Burns says the majority stem from a domestic dispute, including the one Monday morning.

"We hear him beating on his girl every night, cops are here almost every night," said John Lee, neighbor. 

Investigators believe the woman who escaped might be a victim of domestic violence. The two children inside the apartment were not injured. The man was taken into custody.


 

 


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