The Nevada Police Union (NPU) announced that its members recently voted ‘No Confidence’ in Governor Steve Sisolak over his handling of the critical shortages and turnover rates of state police. Per the NPU’s release, 95.3 percent of members voted that they had ‘No Confidence’ in Sisolak.
According to their announcement:
NPU has continuously sounded the alarm on pay inequity and poor working conditions that has caused record high turnover rates and vacancies of state police, which leaves Nevadans less safe. NPU provided solutions to the governor’s office to address these issues, including the use of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, a program of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that can be used by states to distribute COVID-19 hazard and/or retention pay to state police officers. While many states have used these funds to support police, the governor’s office claimed using these funds in this manner was not appropriate or a priority. NPU went so far as to engage Nevada’s senior senator, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who voted for the funding programs. Senator Cortez Masto’s office authored a memo on October 6 outlining the appropriate use of the funds for public safety and noted during passage of ARPA, “This is a comprehensive package that will help our local communities keep first responders on their payrolls.” Similarly, U.S. President Biden called for states to use federal resources to make investments in public safety and law enforcement. Even still, Governor Sisolak took no action. The final straw and motion for a vote of no confidence came after Governor Sisolak dismissed the senator’s memo.In addition, under the leadership of Governor Sisolak, the state increased Public Employees’ Retirement System and health insurance costs, reduced uniform allowances, and mandated furlough days. These increases exacerbated a state police pay inequity of 25%-50% below their counterparts at the local level.
In a statement, NPU President Dan Gordon said, “The state is collecting approximately $1 billion more revenue than projected this year along with billions in federal funds coming into the state. Yet once again, state police have been left out and our vacancy and turnover rates continue to be ignored. It has become clear that our members believe public safety is not a priority of this governor and that is why they have overwhelmingly declared no confidence in Governor Sisolak to ever address these critical issues.”
As reported by The Globe, this is the second major union to declare their lack of confidence in Sisolak. Just last week, the Clark County Education Association refused to endorse Governor Sisolak for re-election. The CCEA is the largest teachers union in Nevada and represents over 18,000 licensed professionals within Clark County School District. The NPU is the state’s largest police union, representing all category one peace officers including Nevada’s highway patrol troopers, parole and probation officers, fire marshals, state detectives, game wardens, park rangers, agricultural police, and university and capitol police.
Elizabeth Ray, Lombardo for Governor Spokesperson, issued this statement: “Over the past week, Steve Sisolak has received a ‘no confidence’ vote from two critical unions in the state, the Clark County Education Association and the Nevada Police Union. This lack of support and confidence in a sitting governor is unprecedented in Nevada and speaks to Sisolak’s absolute failure to lead on every level.”
Recent polls indicate that GOP challenger Sheriff Joe Lombardo is gaining momentum in his bid to unseat the embattled Nevada governor. Polls released by Big Data Poll and Trafalgar Group show Sheriff Lombardo up 2 points and 3 points, respectively. Data for Progress, a progressive group that cites a 3.3% left-leaning bias, has the race tied. RealClearPolitics has listed the RCP Average as Lombardo +1.6 and labeled it as a “GOP Pick Up Projection.”
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