Law enforcement officials in Nevada are rallying around a bill championed by Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo that would give police more flexibility to crack down on rising crime across the state.
The Crime Reduction Act, or S.B. 412, was introduced in the state legislature last month, and has received unanimous support from every Nevada sheriff from all 17 counties in the state. If passed, it would revise the felony threshold for certain crimes, such a retail theft and drug possession, to make it easier for law enforcement to seek stricter punishments in hopes of lowering crime rates.
In a letter of support for the legislation shared with Fox News Digital, the sheriffs praised Lombardo, a former sheriff, and his efforts to roll back restrictions they said made it harder for them to keep the citizens of Nevada safe.
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“Joe Lombardo is committed to keeping our communities safe through commonsense policies that promote public safety. This starts by undoing many of the failed policies that have been enacted,” the letter said.
It also referenced A.B. 236, a bill passed and signed into law in 2019 that weakened penalties for certain crimes, including possession of the deadly drug fentanyl. The law made it only a misdemeanor to possess enough of the drug to kill hundreds of thousands of people, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The law also set the felony threshold for retail theft at $1,200, an amount the letter pointed out was higher than California’s, another state plagued with crime. “This means someone can walk into a CVS, steal well over $1,000 in merchandise, and escape felony charges. We can’t accept that as the new normal here in Nevada,” the letter said.
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“The changes made by AB 236 are an affront to public safety. But Gov. Lombardo is working to fix the damage it has caused with his new Crime Reduction Act, a vital piece of legislation that will support law enforcement and crack down on criminals across Nevada,” it said.
The new bill would implement a zero tolerance policy for fentanyl, meaning possession of any amount would be an automatic felony. It would also nearly half the amount the felony threshold for retail theft.
“Gov. Lombardo has shown that he is committed to restoring the rule of law in Nevada by putting law-abiding citizens before criminals. The passage of his bill would be a welcome step to reducing crime and upholding public safety throughout our state. We urge them to support this commonsense proposal.”