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CCSD's new police chief: 'Police are the last resort, we are there to help'

Chief Henry Blackeye
Clark County School District Police Department/Facebook

The Clark County School District Police Department has a new leader, Chief Henry Blackeye, who has been with the department for 20 years.

He's the first Indigenous chief of the department, and the first Indigenous police chief in Nevada and most of the Mountain West.

Blackeye was raised in Nevada, on the Duckwater Shoshone Indian Reservation, 20 miles from Current Creek, and left when he was 31. He was studying computer science at University of Nevada, Reno when he decided to become an officer.

In 1992, Blackeye said he got a job as a tribal officer, a job he held for 10 years. "I worked; I raised a family out there. And I was involved with the tribe."

Both Blackeye and his wife wanted to finish their education, which is what led them to Las Vegas.

Using his background in computer science, Blackeye said he developed software for the police departments, including a server-based body-worn camera program.

He leaned on the "prevention before apprehension" model, saying they recognize a built-in distance between students and adults in the schools.

"There's a child there that's not developed completely, and they're impulsive. They make mistakes. And we have to recognize that when we're dealing with these kids, you know, not all of them are qualified based on the incidents that occur for those types of alternatives," he said. "But I believe the good majority of them do."

He said he would like to see more officers in middle schools, and at 188 positions, they're the largest school police department in the state.

"We have, right now, about 160, just devoted to the safety of our kids each and every day," he said. "We haven't been that good in talking about ourselves and talking about the benefits and letting the letting the community know who we are, what we do and how We are there to help, you know."

Henry Blackeye, school police chief, Clark County School District

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Kristen Kidman is a former senior producer at KNPR’s State of Nevada and is proud to be from Las Vegas.