Clark County, Nv., voters are split over a proposal to raise sales taxes to put more police officers on the streets, says a poll of likely voters conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Forty-eight percent of those polled said they would approve a quarter-cent increase next year and another quarter-cent increase in 2009 if it means more officers. Almost the same number, 46 percent, said they would vote against the proposal.
The public usually reacts negatively to new taxes, says the Review Journal, and it will be up to Sheriff Bill Young and his supporters to convince voters the new taxes are desperately needed. Young’s argument for new officers centers on the number of officers per 1,000 residents, now about 1.7. Young believes that number should be two officers per 1,000 residents to police Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County effecively. A recent independent audit of the department found the department’s proactive policing efforts were hurt by a lack of officers. Young plans to run a public relations campaign to win over voters. The campaign will include billboards, signs, television, and radio ads, and public speaking engagements by Young and his staff.