The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (also known as the LVMPD or Metro) is a joint city-county police force for the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. It is headed by the Sheriff of Clark County, elected every four years. The current Sheriff of Clark County is Joseph Lombardo, who became sheriff in January 2015. The sheriff is the only elected head law enforcement officer within the county, and, as such, the department is not under the direct control of the city, county, or state.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) was formed on July 1, 1973, by merging the Las Vegas Police Department with the Clark County Sheriff's Department. Metro serves the city limits of Las Vegas and the unincorporated areas of Clark County.
In the early 1970s, both the Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Sheriff's Department struggled with jurisdictional and budgetary problems. Oftentimes, people living in the metropolitan area would call the wrong agency to report crimes in progress, which would delay police response. Both agencies were also strapped for manpower, yet used a lot of it duplicating record-keeping and administrative functions in both of the agencies. The idea of consolidating the two law enforcement agencies into one metropolitan department began to circulate among the top officials in both agencies, likely due to the close working relationship between the Clark County Sheriff and the Las Vegas Police Chief at that time. It was said that even police officers on the Las Vegas Police Department could see that it would be better if the agency were run by the Sheriff, due to the fact that he was an elected official. Legislation to merge the Las Vegas Police Department with the Clark County Sheriff's Department was passed by the Nevada State Legislature, and the merger became effective in 1973.
In 1999, an outside audit, commissioned by the City of Las Vegas and conducted by DMG-Maximus, commended the department for having fewer managers and supervisors than are typically found in large police agencies. The audit also said that the managers, both sworn and civilian, were of "excellent quality." The auditors found that the recruitment and selection program was "among the best we have encountered in recent years." Although the city had planned to commission a second phase of the study, DMG-Maximus auditors said they were so impressed with the department that further study was unnecessary, saving the city $180,000 that had been allocated for the audit.
In January 2015, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officially assumed responsibility for the Las Vegas Township Constable's Office. Las Vegas Township Constable's Office continues to be a separate entity but under Metro's detention services division.
Metro has more than 5,100 members. Of these, over 2,700 are police officers of various ranks and over 750 are corrections officers of various ranks.