A primary role of a county sheriff is to provide public safety services to all citizens of Clark County, regardless of their ethnic background or the language they speak. We already know that Clark County is a diverse community with many ethnic backgrounds and many languages being represented. For many of us who speak English as a primary language, gaining access to services at the sheriff’s office is fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, for many of our non-English speaking citizens, this is not the case.
I recently appeared on Russian Radio 7 for two hours of interview and questions from the listening audience. Over the two hour session, two things became very clear to me. First, our neighbors and citizens who have immigrated from other countries are concerned about the same issues that our native-born citizens are concerned about. Many questions had to do with community safety, family safety, and how we keep our youth from getting involved in drugs and crime. These were questions that any parents who love their children would ask. Secondly, it became increasingly clear to me that our outreach to these communities can be improved. I was asked basic questions about the role of the sheriff’s office and questions about the lack of communication between the sheriff’s office and the eastern European community.
All of our residents should have access to information about safety issues in their community, and they shouldn’t have to wait for a sheriff’s election for someone to reach out them. As sheriff I will make it a priority for our Outreach Unit to develop innovative ways to reach out to our diverse communities to make sure that our non-English speaking citizens feel like they are connected to, and not separated from, their sheriff’s office.