Nevada lawmakers are considering a potentially revolutionary bill that could open the door for noncitizens to join law enforcement as staffing shortages in the state become a looming reality.
If approved and signed into effect after passing background checks, this would be groundbreaking legislation allowing officers of all backgrounds on Nevada’s police force.
Former Sheriff Proposed Bill that Will Allow Noncitizens to be on Police Force
Nevada is a step closer to allowing 140,000 green card holders and DACA recipients the chance of becoming law enforcement officers.
The bill proposed by Republican Governor Joe Lombardo – himself formerly an esteemed sheriff in the state – has been unanimously endorsed by Nevada’s Senate and Assembly.
North Las Vegas broke ground as the first city in Nevada to take a stand for non-citizen youth, filing AB 30 which permits the enrolment of aspiring young law enforcement hopefuls into their Youth Explorers program.
This move has been met with praise from citizens and officials alike across the state.
Nevada is considering a bill that would allow non-U.S. citizens who live in the state to serve as police officers amid staffing shortages. https://t.co/mg9Sg7GfqH
— Intl. Business Times (@IBTimes) January 24, 2023
Since opening up its doors to noncitizens, the Las Vegas Youth Explorers program has seen an influx in participants.
This corresponds with a national decrease in police officer recruitment observed by Jared Luke, Director of Government Affairs and Economic Development for North Las Vegas.
With this sudden growth trend comes potential hope that these young people will contribute positively to their communities within Nevada as well as nationwide.
Luke shared with the media that this new bill was proposed to broaden law enforcement recruitment.
Though applicants would go through physical tests and extensive background checks, widening the number of qualified candidates is a key focus for those behind the legislation.
Previously Overlooked Candidates Given Second Chance
The Director of Government Affairs and Economic Development for North Las Vegas highlighted an untapped source of capable volunteers willing to contribute to the community in which they live, but barred from doing so.
The Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) are delusional!
Standards board advances rule change to allow noncitizen police officers in Minnesota https://t.co/TybFjDFYiL
— Jimmy Joe (@JimmyJo06296292) April 28, 2022
AB 30 seeks to recognize and address this issue by giving previously overlooked candidates a chance for service, despite their legal status in the US.
Luke’s remark embodied a desire for state recognition of these individuals – allowing them access and opportunity typically not available before now.
Luke commented on a recently-proposed bill that would permit noncitizens to fill public school teaching positions as an echo of 2015 legislation.
This effort comes in light of the current shortage experienced by this struggling field, providing potential relief for teachers and students alike.
State senator Luke has proposed a plan to extend the same benefits for police officers that were enacted in 2015 for teachers. With this new initiative, law enforcement officials hope to be better equipped and supported as they carry out their duties.
Following in the footsteps of their neighbors, Arizona recently passed similar legislation to Utah and California.