Metro demonstrates how use of force changes has decreased officer-involved shootings

LAS VEGAS - For years, critics demanded action because they thought Metro Police was involved in too many officer-involved shootings, particularly in the minority community.

So the federal government stepped in, and its involvement led to significant changes, and since then those incidents have dropped off.

There were 75 issues identified for Metro Police to address, and they say they have addressed all of them.

Proud of the changes the department has made, Metro Police has decided to share what its officers have learned.

Metro Police pulled out all the stops to show in great detail what happens when one of its officers opens fire.
When an officer-involved shooting happens, the agency locks everything down before questioning the officer involved and witnesses.

"With any witness, it's hard to get them to remember what they've just seen. How challenging is that," asked 8 News NOW Reporter John Langeler?

"A lot of the challenge is that people will say they saw something, but they were actually in another location," said Det. Blake Penny, Metro Police. 

After an officer-involved shooting, detectives also use meticulous detail to document the scene.

Reasons for Metro's demonstration on Thursday was is to show how the agency operates when there's an officer-involved shooting and to demonstrate how things have changed since a few years ago when shootings happened more frequently.

Statistics show since Metro was grabbing headlines over the use of force in 2010, the numbers have wavered, but in 2016, Metro had 10 officer-involved shootings, and not all of them were deadly.  It's the fewest in 20 years.

"What plays into that is the level of training these officers are getting these days," said Capt. Kelly McMahill, Metro Police.

The department says it now preaches de-escalation at every turn.  Even critics like the ACLU have noticed a better, more engaged force.

TheACLU called reforms at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department a 'success.'