Las Vegas police officers will travel in pairs indefinitely after problems cropped up with the department's glitchy radio system during a recent officer-involved shooting, authorities said Thursday.
Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news conference that the department will keep the same number of officers on the streets, but the number of patrol cars will be reduced so officers can double up for safety. The department is also hoping to switch over to its new radio system, built by Motorola Solutions Inc., in September rather than the originally scheduled January implementation date.
The changes came after Officer Ryan McNabb was involved in a chase and shootout the night of June 26. Officials said McNabb struggled to communicate over his radio while he traded gunfire with Joshua Bacharach.
"It appears on the face value that it is getting worse at this time. So we made a decision as a department for officer safety to double up our officers," Lombardo said.
Bacharach, 30, was later apprehended by a police dog and has been charged with multiple counts, including attempted murder, discharging a weapon from a moving vehicle, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and disobeying a peace officer while driving.
No officers were injured.
Police said Bacharach had 29 previous arrests for various counts, including attempted robbery and resisting a police officer.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced in October 2012 that the department would replace its $42 million radio system, installed in 2010, in part because it has hampered communication between officers.