“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it”
- George Santayana, The Life of Reason
Sadly it seems the City of Henderson is doomed to learn this lesson the hard way. The Henderson City Council, as expected, followed the recommendations of Jacob Snow and appointed Deputy Chief Patrick Moers as the city’s newest Chief of Police
Snow’s recommendation to promote Moers to Chief was the first, and possibly the worst, decision he has made as the newest Henderson City Manager. Considering the innovative work Snow did while running the Regional Transportation Commission, it is difficult to understand why he made the worst of all possible decisions right out of the gate.
Moers has been acting as interim chief of police since the resignation of former Chief Jutta Chambers earlier this year. Chambers resignation came on the heels of public outrage over a controversial police beating that was recorded by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper’s dashboard camera. The incident in which HPD officer Brett Seekatz is clearly seen delivering five punishing kicks to the head of Adam Greene, a man in the throes of a diabetic episode, cost taxpayers more than $300,000 in settlements. No charges or disciplinary actions were taken against Seekatz or any of the officers involved, sparking much of the public’s outrage.
Ironically, Snow was quoted in the Las Vegas Review Journal as saying “I think that the agency’s ripe for a culture change,” yet rather than recommend the only candidate without ties to the HPD’s current culture, Bill Conger, Snow recommended a man knee-deep in the very cover-up culture for which HPD has become known.
Moers who moved to Henderson 1991 and was hired by the HPD the same year does have a very impressive background. As an officer, Moers served a field training officer and a department training instructor. He was promoted to sergeant in 1997. He served in patrol and was also assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, where he supervised the property crimes section and crimes against persons section. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2003 and oversaw the Criminal Investigations Division. He was assigned to patrol and the lieutenant over the bike unit. He also became the first lieutenant to be assigned to the Traffic Bureau. He served in the Professional Standards Bureau for Internal Affairs, background investigations and support functions. He oversaw the accreditation unit through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). He was promoted to captain in 2009.
What stands out about Moers’ many accomplishments is his stint with Internal Affairs. While Snow tries to sell the community on Moers’ ability to be a good listener, he seems to ignore the fact that Moers only listens to the desires of the HPD while the community’s cries fall on deaf ears. Moers, after all, was second in command to Chambers, so was just as complicit, in the cover-up of the Greene beating. Moers has said nothing about the HPD’s failure to charge officer Wavie Reed after he ran down a man in a cross walk last year. And, despite his stint with Internal Affairs, Moers remained silent when the HPD turned its back on the 2010 murder of Ruslan Zhgenti by HPD officer Edward Little.
Moers has been an integral part of the HPD culture than protects its officers at all costs, no matter how heinous their actions, yet he received a standing ovation when he was sworn in as the new Chief of Police for the Henderson Police Department.
- Moers Sworn In (guardianlv.com)