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In summer 2020, national attention on racial injustice brought into focus the culture of policing as a critical area of policy exploration for the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine the culture of policing in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, and specifically within Las Vegas’s largest police force, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD). Through this case study analysis, the racial, social and fiscal aspects of the culture of policing are investigated between the years 2016 & 2020. The research here presents data on disparities within policing found at the national and local levels. The current state of play in Las Vegas is also analyzed, as Black Lives Matter demonstrations and other social justice protests sparked difficult conversations between activists, elected officials, and police officers in the valley. Finally, short-term and long-term policy recommendations for state and local legislators to consider moving forward are provided. As one of the most diverse areas in the United States, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is an ideal case study for understanding the culture of policing, and an ideal laboratory for proposing meaningful, just policy interventions.

Publication Date

Spring 2021




Criminal justice policy; Racial equity; Police reform; Metropolitan policy


Criminology and Criminal Justice

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1083 KB


Faculty Mentor: Caitlin Saladino, Ph.D.

Calls for Accountability: Redefining the Culture of Policing in Las Vegas